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Full text of "The story of the Great War; history of the European War from official sources. Complete historical records of events to date ... Edited by Francis J. Reynolds, Allen L. Churchill [and] Francis Trevelyan Miller"

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Presented to the 
LIBRARY of the 




Story of The Great War 

History of the European 
War from Official Sources 


T*refaced by 








edited by 

Former Reference Librarian of Congress Associate Editor, The New International Encyclopedia 


Editor in Chief, Photographic History of the Civil War 


Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

University of Toronto 











Copyright 1920 
By p. F. Collier & Son Company 


v. 6. 










Destruction Marks the German Retreat — The French 
Capture Soissons, Fismes, and Important Positions — 
The British Win Great Victories Near Albert . . 9 

The German Retreat Continues — The French Victori- 
ous Between the Oise and the Aisne — The British 
Win Miles of Territory Daily 23 

The French Take Noyon — The British Bapaume and 
Peronne — The Allies Conquer on Every Front ... 36 

The British Close in on Cambrai — French Occupy St. 
Quentin — The Germans Fire Cambrai and Retire — The 
Allies' Great Victory in Flanders 49 

The Germans Retreat on All Fronts — British Capture 
Valenciennes — The Armistice — The War Over . . 63 


VI. Countering the Germans in Fallen Russia .... 80 

VII. Allied Intervention in the North of Russia 88 

VIII. The Bolsheviki Resent Allied Intervention .... 90 

IX. The Baltic Provinces 95 

X. The Austro-Italian Front 96 


XI. The Internal Collapse of Germany 106 

XII. The Liberation of the Holy Land — Mesopotamian Cam- 
paign 113 

XIII. Collapse op Austria 123 

XIV. The Surrender of Turkey . 135 





XV. Austria-Hungary and Germany Surrender— "The War 
Thus Comes to an End," President Wilson to Congress 
—The President Sails for France 137 


XVI. Naval Exploits of the Allies — Submarines 142 

XVII. Surrender of the German Fleet 147 


XVIII. American Achievements on the Western Front, by Fred- 
erick Palmer (Late Lieutenant Colonel, U. S. R.) . . 151 


XIX. First Session of Peace Congress — Clemenceau, Perma- 
nent Chairman — President Wilson's Address — The 

League of Nations Covenant Completed 193 

XX. The Covenant and Draft of the Constitution of the 
League of Nations — President Wilson's Speech in Sup- 
port; He Returns to America — The United States Sen- 
ate Criticizes League Document 208 

XXI. Revised Covenant of the League of Nations — The Treaty 

OF Peace 221 


Introduxh'ion by Lieutenant Colonel John A. Cooper (Late Com- 
mander OF the 198th Battalion, Canadian Buffs) . . 249 


I. Canada Before the War 259 

II. Building a War Machine 264 

III. Departure of First Contingent 267 

IV. The Steady Stream of Recruits 270 

V. The Conscription Act 272 

VI. The ''Princess Pat" Regiment ..,.«.... 285 



VII. Canada's Huge Forestry Corps . 287 

VIII. The Canadian Railway Corps 291 

IX. Other Branches of the Service 295 

X. Administration of Canada's War Establishment ... 302 


XI. The Canadians in Flanders — Neuve Chapelle — Their 
Brave Part in the Second Battle of Ypres — The Prin- 
cess Patricias 303 

XII. Battle of Festubert — The Canadians Fight for the 
Orchard — Valor of the Second Brigade and Fourth 

Battalion — Givenchy 322 

XIII. The Second and Third Canadian Divisions — Battles of St. 

Eloi and Sanctuary Wood — Victory After Defeat . . 339 

XIV. ViMY Ridge and Passchendaele 357 

XV. Holding the Vimy Sector 367 

XVI. Holding Lens and Arras 372 

XVII. The Amiens Battle of August, 1918 383 

XVIII. The Attack Against the Hindenburg Line 389 

XIX. Capture of Bourlon Wood and Cambrai 396 

XX. Capture of Valenciennes and Mons ....... 406 


XXL Shoulder to Shoulder with the Empibje 423 


XXII. Behind the Guns at Home 430 

XXIII. From Trenches to Farms 438 

XXIV. Keeping Their Home Fires Burning 443 

XXV. Remaking Men 448 

XXVI. Service to the Troops 456 

XXVII. Succor and Solace 463 

Chronology of the World War 469 

Index 481 


Signing the Peace Treaty in the Hall of Mirrors, June 28, 1919 

Colored Frontispiece 


Prince of Wales, General Currie, and General Watson at Denain 62 
A Canadian Brigade Serving as Guard of Honor in the Occupa- 
tion OF MoNS 78 

General Sir Arthur William Currie 254 

Lieutenant General Sir William Turner, V. C 302 

Major General Sir Henry Edward Burstall 366 

Major General Sir Archibald Cameron Macdonell 366 

Major General Louis James Lipsett 382 

Major General Sir David Watson 382 

Brigadier General Kaymond Brutinel 414 

Major General Sir Frederick Oscar Warren Loomis 414 

Major General Hon. Sydney Chilton Mewburn 462 

Major General Sir Edward Whipple Bancroft Morrison . . . 462 



The Rhine Valley, Showing Neutral Zones and Bridgeheads 

(Colored Map) Front Insert 

The New Map of Europe, Showing Approximate Boundaries 

Colored Insert 

The Western Front Colored Insert 

Advance of the Allies on the Amiens Front, August 8, 1918 . 14 
Battle Lines and Operations on the Western Front in 1918, 
Including German Territory Held by the Allied Armies 

of Occupation 61 

The ^'Hindenburg Line," the Line of Farthest German Advance, 
AND the Battle Line When the Armistice Began, November 

11, 1918 64 

The German Territory Occupied Under the Armistice Terms . 77 

Italy's Successful Offensive, October, 1918 101 

The Conquest of Palestine, Syria, and Mesopotamia by the Brit- 
ish Armies 115 

The Surrender of the German Fleet 148 







THE continued advance of the Allies in the first days of 
August, 1918, along the front from Soissons to Rheims was 
a decisive blow to the German hopes of gaining Paris ; the capital 
was no longer threatened. The hard-pressed foe was now forced 
to retreat hurriedly on all sides of the Marne salient, which was 
rapidly being flattened out by the irresistible pressure of French 
and British armies. 

On August 2, 1918, the forces under General Mangin took 
Soissons. Southwest of Rheims General Berthelot occupied Ville- 
en-Tardenois, marking an advance for the day of over three 
miles. Supported by a French contingent, British troops crossed 
the Crise River, which joins the Aisne at Soissons, and regained 
a considerable strip of territory southeast of that city. The 
Ixcrman retreat was orderly and in no sense a rout. Their hur- 
ried retirement was marked by pillage and incendiarism and the 
usual devastations according to their settled program. 

North of Fere-en-Tardenois French and American forces ad- 
vanced simultaneously in the early morning of August 2, 1918, 
the French occupying Cramaille and Cramoiselle and later Sapo- 
nay, where forty railroad cars and a number of locomotives fell 
into their hands. The advance of the Allies was made under 
heavy barrage; the German artillery replied at times, but it 



was feeble and ineffective. Their retreat was in a northward 
direction through the valley from Saponay and was marked by 
great fires behind the lines as they destroyed many ammunition 
dumps before retiring. At a few points there was some sharp 
fighting, but the Germans made no serious attempt to stem the 
advance of the Allies and seemed only eager to get away and 
avoid tix)uble as far as possible. 

French cavalry, with American infantry supporting, operated 
near Dravegny about two and a half miles to the north of Cou- 
langes. This forward movement was of importance as it brought 
the Allies within eight miles of Fismes to the southeast, on the 
railroad between Soissons and Rheims. 

It was learned through prisoners that the Germans would 
make a stand on the line of the Vesle River, where determined 
resistance might be expected. It was not believed, however, 
that this effort would prove formidable ; for the Allies had only 
to make a slight advance when their heavy guns would be in a 
position to shell Fismes and render any other place in the neigh- 
borhood untenable. 

The Germans had succeeded in extricating the greater portion 
of their armies from the salient, but it was evident that there 
was confusion in their ranks and a lack of order. Their retreat 
was marked by clouds of smoke and many fires and explosions 
that denoted hurried flight. 

Though the Germans were hurrying to escape, they took time 
to destroy practically everything that was of any value in the 
towns evacuated. Before leaving Fere-en-Tardenois there was 
not one house that had not been shelled or dynamited. When 
the French entered Villeneuve they found twenty-three villagers 
who had been virtually German prisoners for nearly two months. 
They all slept in a cellar for mutual protection, subsisting on a 
stock of flour and canned goods, and vegetables which they had 
raised themselves. During the day they avoided the Germans, 
declining to associate with them or to accept the food they 
offered. In this place the French found twenty-five wounded 
or dead Germans in the church. Several had died of starvation 
as result of the hurried retreat. 


In another town occupied by the French they found the church 
was used by the Germans as a storehouse for loot. There were 
piles of mattresses and boxes containing copper and brass arti- 
cles, also church vestments ready for shipment to Germany. 

The roadways through which the Germans retreated from 
Fere-en-Tardenois were obstructed by wagons, dead horses and 
men, and piles of ammunition. Some of the wagons had been 
abandoned in hurried flight and in some cases drivers and horses 
were killed by French and American gunners. 

Allied forces continued their victorious sweep northward on 
August 3, 1918, capturing practically the entire Aisne-Vesle 
front between Soissons and Rheims, which marked an advance 
of six miles at some points, while more than fifty villages 
recently held by the enemy were recovered. 

The Allies* advance was on a front of thirty miles, and before 
the close of the day they held the southern banks of the Aisne 
and the Vesle from Soissons to the important town of Fismes, 
where American troops occupied positions on the outskirts. 

East of Fismes the Allies were on a line north of Courville, 
Brancourt, Courcelles, and Champigny, towns in close proximity 
to the Vesle River, while cavalry patrols were operating along 
the Soissons-Rheims railroad which follows the course of the 

To the north British forces operating in the Albert sector 
were making substantial gains, forcing the Germans to retreat 
to the east bank of the Ancre River on a frontage of between 
seven and eight miles and at some places over a mile in depth. 
This was followed by the capture of Demancourt by the British, 
while their patrols entered the outskirts of Albert. 

The capture of Fismes, the great ammunition and supply depot, 
on August 4, 1918, was the most important victory won by the 
Allies on that date. The brilliant performance of the American 
troops on this occasion received high praise. 

Northwest of Rheims the Allies had pushed forward to the 
village of La Neuvillette, about two miles north of the Vesle. 
East of Fismes at several points in the neighborhood of Cham- 
pigny bodies of French troops had crossed the Vesle River, and 


the result of these advances was the retreat of the Germans 
from the southern bank. 

The inability of the enemy to make a determined stand on 
an established line was due to the constant pounding which 
Foch maintained and a constant pressure that never relaxed. 
The big salient that had loomed so formidable a fortnight before 
was now almost wiped out. With British and French troops 
in one comer of it, Americans in the center, and British, French, 
and Italians in the other comer, the Germans never had an 
opportunity, harassed as they were on all sides, to establish them- 
selves in positions to check the Allies* advance. So they chose 
the better part of valor and retreated, leaving a trail of burning 
villages behind them. But their flight was too hurried for them 
to destroy all their stores, and goods to the value of millions of 
dollars fell into the hands of the Allies. 

The Vesle River, flooded by recent rains, hampered the retreat 
of the German rear guards, who, unable to cross the stream, 
were forced to fight for their lives. Most of them were killed 
and the rest were made prisoners. 

On August 5, 1918, the Germans attempted to make some kind 
of stand on the Vesle, where their heavy guns were busy shelling 
the Allies' lines. In spite of this resistance French patrols 
succeeded in crossing the river at several points between Ser- 
moise, east of Soissons and Fismes, and between Fismes and 
Muizon. The Germans on the north bank were well supplied 
with machine guns and bomb throwers, while their aviators, 
using machine guns, wrought considerable destruction among the 
French troops. Between Muizon and Rheims, where the French 
were firmly established on the south bank of the river, there 
was hard fighting, but the Germans were unable to dislodge 
the French from their positions. 

In the morning of August 7, 1918, Field Marshal Haig deliv- 
ered a heavy blow at the armies of Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria 
on the southern side of the Lys salient. The British attack was 
launched on the front of about five miles, advancing their whole 
line to a depth of a thousand yards. To the south on the front 
east of Amiens on the Bray-Corbie road British troops recap- 


tured positions which the Germans had occupied on the previous 

Along the Vesle between Braisne and Fismes, where French 
and American troops held the highway which runs parallel with 
the river, the Germans made furious counterattacks, but failed 
to dislodge the Allies. Nor were they able to hinder more 
than temporarily the French and Americans from crossing 
the river on hastily constructed bridges which their engineers 
had thrown over the stream protected by a heavy barrage. 

At daybreak, August 8, 1918, Field Marshal Haig attacked the 
German lines from near Albert south to Braches, on the Avre 
above Montdidier, with forces that included not only British, 
French, and Australian troops but also Canadians who had been 
brought up suddenly from the vicinity of Lens. The enemy, 
taken by surprise, were thrust back along almost the entire front 
of twenty-five miles, and this resulted in the capture by the 
Allies of over a hundred guns and more than 10,000 prisoners. 
The advance was between four and five miles, and at one point 
seven miles. 

The British launched their attack in a mist, after only a few 
minutes of artillery preparation, and the Germans were over- 
whelmed in the first onrush. The British won their objectives 
with only nominal losses. Of an entire army corps only two 
officers and fifteen men of the ranks were reported as casualties. 
The heavy mist in the early morning when the Allies advanced 
favored their plans, for not until 8 o*clock did a German aero- 
plane appear over the line and by that time the Allies had 
already made important progress. In the advance, tanks and 
armored cars accomplished wonders, striking dismay in the ranks 
of the enemy as they plunged through the mists, spouting fire 
and destruction, sweeping on heedless of obstacles and of the 
concentrated attack of German guns. By noon the Germans 
were making desperate efforts to escape with their transports. 

The quick and complete victory of the Allies on this day, 
August 8, 1918, proved that Foch*s counteroffensive had turned 
the scale in their favor. From this time on, the Allies attacked 
and the Germans retreated. 








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Moreuil and the territory adjoining Villers-aux-Erables were 
taken by the French while the British captured the Dodo and 
Hamel Woods and Marcelcave after hard fighting and occupied 
territory to a considerable distance beyond. Four German di- 
visions were badly cut up in course of the struggle, while the 
Allies' casualties were unimportant. It was only around Mor- 
lancourt that the Germans made a determined stand. Here 
fighting continued throughout the day, and though the enemy 
launched a number of counterattacks they failed to gain or 
recover any ground. 

Along the French front after an artillery preparation of forty- 
five minutes the troops made a dashing advance, and by 8 
o'clock in the morning had gained their first objectives. Their 
advance was in the direction of Demuin and Aubercourt, while 
at the same time the British were thrusting forward toward 
jCerisy-Gailly on the south side of the Somme. 

After the capture of Moreuil, where the French met with 
stout resistance, they crossed the Avre, a difficult operation, as 
they were constantly under the fierce fire of enemy guns. Once 
across the river their difficulties increased, for they had to ad- 
vance up steep slopes from the river edge in the face of heavy 
German fire. They had had no help from the tanks to lead the 
^ay and break down the enemy's resistance. 

Somewhat later when bridges were thrown across the stream 
the tanks got over, but by that time the French had suc- 
ceeded in winning the top of the slopes and the enemy had 
fallen back. 

After the Germans had been forced out of the Moreuil region 
their resistance became steadily weaker. The French captured 
all the heights together with the villages of Braches and La 
Neuville on the eastern bank of the Avre. On the northern 
portion of the battle area, where the German opposition was 
feebler, the advance was more rapid. 

While the French and British were engaged in smashing the 
German forces in the west, the American and the French (as 
described elsewhere in these pages) were keeping up an irre- 
sistible pressure along the Vesle River. 

War St. 8— Be 


The Allied advance east of Amiens continued on August 9, 
1918, with the Anglo-French forces in possession of a line run- 
ning through Pierrepont, Arvillers, Rozieres, and Morcourt, 
marking an advance since the previous night of about five miles. 
Beyond this newly established line Allied cavalry and tanks 
had succeeded in penetrating within a mile of the important 
Chaulnes railway junction. In this advance the Allies captured 
over 17,000 prisoners and 300 guns, including railway guns 
of the heaviest caliber. In the Lys sector of the Flanders front 
the British were also successful in carrying their line forward 
between the Bourre and the Lawe Rivers to a maximum depth 
of 2,000 yards and taking possession of Locon and four other 

It was evident everywhere in the battle areas that the Ger- 
mans were retiring in great haste, for as the Allies drove 
forward they found on the battle ground abandoned guns, stores, 
and even artillery maps and military documents. Allied ob- 
servers reported streams of enemy transports and men hurrying 
eastward in full retreat. 

A joyous spirit pervaded the ranks of the Allies as they moved 
victoriously forward, their cavalry rounding up villages, while 
tanks and armored cars overran the country clearing a way 
for the advance of the troops, or destroying the enemy trans- 
ports. The performance of one tank is especially worthy of 
record, since it shot up a German corps headquarters. 

Running into an enemy-held town, where the German corps 
headquarters staff stationed there was having luncheon, the tank 
opened fire through the windows, killing a number of Germans 
and wounding others, while a few managed to make a hurried 
escape. Inside the German lines a group of armored cars halted 
a German supply column and destroyed it. At Framerville a 
train loaded with Germans was attacked by a group of cars 
and finally set on fire. 

All along the line enemy snipers were active, and isolated 
gun billets were a source of trouble, but these were silenced 
one by one as the Allies swept on. The Germans tried to destroy 
^11 their ammunition dumps and stores in their hasty flight, 


but had not time to make a complete job of it, and consequently 
were forced to abandon vast quantities of military supplies, most 
of which the French and British found immediate use for. The 
towns captured from the Germans were inhospitable places for 
the most part. 

The enemy had tried to destroy everything before the retire- 
ment, but the Allies' advance was so rapid that all the houses 
could not be dynamited. In and around most of the towns were 
found small holes covered with curved iron slabs where the 
German gunners had lived before they were killed or forced to 
run for their lives. 

The result of the Allied advance had an important effect on 
the strategical situation, for the Germans were now in an un- 
comfortable salient with only one line of railway to supply 
them, and that was under fire of the Allied guns. The advance 
had also freed for the use of the Allies the main Paris-Amiens 
railway. Previous to the German retirement this line was under 
easy range of their guns and the Allies were unable to use it 

August 10, 1918, was a notable day for the French forces 
when Marshal Foch threw his First Army against the apex of 
the German salient southeast of Amiens. Montdidier was cap- 
tured, and the salient was smashed in to an average depth of 
six miles on a thirteen-mile front, reaching a line extending 
from Andechy to the northeast of Montdidier to Elincourt, ten 
miles to the southeast. From Albert to the southern side of 
the Montdidier salient the whole Allied line was pushed east- 
ward, reaching a maximum distance in the direction of Chaulnes, 
the principal railroad center of the Germans west of the Somme 

The French launched their attack without any artillery prep- 
aration in the sector east of Montdidier between Courcelles- 
Epayelles and the Matz River. The Germans were on the 
alert, but the dash and suddenness of the French attack over- 
came their most determined efforts. In one hour after the 
French went forward their first objective, Ressons-sur-Matz, was 
won, and in the succeeding two hours they had captured Mor- 


temer, CuviDy, and Marqueglise. At some points the advance 
was five miles. By noon on August 10, 1918, the Germans in 
Montdidier found that they had been caught in the jaws of a 
trap. Converging French attacks from the north and south had 
succeeded in practically encircling the town. The French drive 
had also deprived the Germans from using the Montdidier- 
Chaulnes railway, which was the only line that supplied food and 
material to their fighting front at the bottom of the Montdidier 

By the capture of Faverolles, which was stormed by the 
French in the morning of August 10, 1918, the Germans were 
hampered in their withdrawal of troops from Montdidier. The 
day closed with Von Hutier's forces in hurried retreat from 
the Montdidier-Noyon line. 

The Allies had made their great advance with only moderate 
losses. The casualties, including killed, wounded, and missing, 
numbered less than 6,000, or not more than a fourth of the 
number of prisoners taken. In the course of the fighting eleven 
German divisions had been defeated and so badly cut up that 
a long time must elapse before they would be in a condition to 
be re-formed and ready for serious work. 

North of the Ancre River the British had firmly established 
their positions and were pushing out patrols in the direction 
of Bray. In their advance south of the Somme they captured 
Warvillers, Vrely, Folies, Rozieres, and Vauvillers. To the 
north of the Somme, where they were aided by the brilliant 
fighting of the Americans, Chipilly Spur was the scene of a 
determined struggle. After winning the Spur the Allies pressed 
on, driving the Germans before them. An interesting feature 
of the day*s advance was the capture at Lihons of a complete 
German divisional headquarters and staff. 

The Germans showed more than common ingenuity in devising 
traps to hinder the advance of the Allies. In many instances 
a large number of shells would be placed in pockets under the 
roads so arranged that the weight of a passing wagon or motor 
lorry would explode them. They also arranged barbed-wire 
entanglements so that attacking troops would explode mines. 


but the Allies had learned through bitter experience the gentle 
ways of the enemy, and took effective means to render the Gen 
man traps ineffective. Poisoned food and poisoned water 
marked the enemy's backward trail, but the Allies had long 
before concerted measures to protect the troops from such 
Teutonic pleasantries. 

The Allies continued to fight their way forward during the 
night of August 10, 1918, and on the following day the armies 
of Von Hutier and Von der Marwitz were in full retreat in the 
direction of Peronne, Nesle, and Ham. Important rear guards 
were sacrificed by the Germans to secure the safety of their 
aiain armies, and it became increasingly evident that they were. 
*^unning out of reserves. 

The Allied line on the front from Albert south to the Oise 
was carried forward, especially to the south, where the French 
were operating by themselves. During the night Haig's troops 
advanced their line on the high ground between Etinehem and 
Demancourt. Farther south on the other side of the Somme 
the Germans, having received reenforcements, delivered power- 
ful attacks against the British positions at Lihons and succeeded 
in making a temporary breach in the British line. In a fierce 
counterattack the British drove them back with heavy losses 
and the line was completely restored. 

The capture of the Massif of Lassigny by the French on: 
August 12, 1918, was of first importance to the Allies, for the 
heights command a broad sweep of difficult country and when 
in German hands were a formidable obstacle to the Allied ad- 

German positions at Roye were now threatened on three sides 
— north, west, and south — as the Allies pushed their lines for- 
ward. The British gained ground to the east of Fouquescourt, 
while the French captured the village of Armancourt, and 
Tilleloy and the Bois des Loges. 

The heavy guns of the Allies continued to shell the Somme 
bridges in the Chaulnes region which the Germans would have 
to cross if they were forced to evacuate this territory. South 
of the Somme Haig's troops captured the village of Proyart and 


linked up their positions east of Mericourt with those to the 
east of Etinehem, which is on the northern bank. 

While the Allies' advance had slowed down owing to the in- 
creasing number of reserves which the Germans threw into 
the battle line the enemy was ^adually being thrust out of the 
strongest positions which he had held so long. 

Since the beginning of the Allied counteroffensive which be- 
gan on July 18, 1918, they had captured over 70,000 prisoners, 
about 1,000 guns and over 10,000 machine guns. 

On August 12-13, 1918, French forces under General Hum- 
bert resumed the offensive between the Matz and Oise Rivers 
and a drive forward was made into the German lines. East 
and north of Gury good progress was recorded, increasing the 
menace to Lassigny two miles to the northeast. The French 
also advanced two kilometers north of Cambronne, and east- 
ward in the valley of the Oise, owing to continued pressure, 
the Germans were forced out of their trenches to the west of 

The Allied artillery had now full control of the converging 
roads in and out of Noyon, near the southern end of the line, 
notably that running northward to Ham. Under these con- 
ditions any attempt of the enemy to carry out a retrograde 
movement was greatly hampered. 

August 13-14, 1918, the Germans began the evacuation of a 
five-mile front north of Albert, extending from Beaumont- 
Hamel northward through the villages of Serre and Puisieux- 
au-Mont to Bucquoy. On the French front the town of Ribe- 
court, six miles from Noyon and on the road to that city, was 
wrested from the Germans as the result of a further thrust 
between the Matz and Oise Rivers. 

General Humbert's advance had made the French position on 
the southern part of the Thiescourt plateau secure. The Ger- 
mans now occupied Plemont, which they captured early in the 
June fighting, and reoccupied their old trenches, which were still 
organized with wire entanglements. Here as elsewhere the 
Germans had the advantage that they were falling back on their 
supplies while the French were forced to bring theirs up through 


a very difficult country. General Humbert and his men had 
been fighting now continuously for four days, a great part of 
the time in gas-drenched sectors and against strongly held 
positions which the Germans had deemed impregnable. The 
French now held possession of two important crests, Claude 
Farm and Ecouvillon, and were within a hundred yards of Le 
Monolithe, another high plateau commanding a wide sweep of 
territory to the north and east. 

All the German positions between the western outskirts of 
Bray and Etineham were captured by the Australians, giving 
the British control of the river banks southwest of Bray. The 
Australians after a hard and brilliant fight drove the enemy 
from the Cateau Wood. 

On the southern end of the Picardy battle line General Hum- 
bert's army continued to press the advance toward Noyon. The 
desperate defense maintained by the Germans on the Chaulnes- 
Roye road for a time delayed French storming operations which 
were impending. General Rawlinson's army, which held the 
line to the north of the French positions, was subjected to fierce 
German attacks on the whole front. The enemy seemed de- 
termined to maintain his hold on the Chaulnes heights regard- 
less of the cost. The French advance was made against a line 
that was thinly held, but which bristled with machine guns so 
numerous that there was one to every two men, it was reported. 
Moreover, the battle area traversed by the French troops was 
deluged with mustard gas, so that there were days in which 
they were forced to wear their masks even when snatching a 
few hours of repose. Yet the French continued to win domi- 
nating positions and forced the Germans back in spite of all 
attempts to hinder their progress. 

On August 15, 1918, Australian troops under Marshal Haig 
made a drive against the German defenses on the center of the 
Somme battle front between Chaulnes and Roye and captured 
the villages of Parvillers and Demery. Progress was also made 
south of the Somme, southeast of Proyart, and to the northwest 
of Chaulnes. North of Albert, in the sector where the Germans 
were forced to evacuate their positions which projected into 


the British line between Beaumont-Hamel and Bucquoy, Haig's 
troops continued to push forward. On General Humbert's front 
east of Montdidier his tireless fighters conquered two strongly 
fortified farms to the northwest of Ribecourt. 

Albert was still strongly held by the Germans, and British 
patrols entering the town were fired upon from the cathedral. 
The steady advance of the Allies, however, so seriously menaced 
the German positions in and around the town that it was only 
a question of time when they would be forced to retire from 
every point of defense. 

On August 16, 1918, British and French troops, operating 
together, made a drive against the strongly held German posi- 
tions between Chaulnes and Roye. Advancing on an eight-mile 
front from a point west of Fransart to the neighborhood of Lau- 
court, they made substantial progress and reduced a number of 
important German strongholds. Forward movements were also 
made by the British in the Ancre sector in which the Germans 
were forced to withdraw their first-line positions, and Haig's 
men pushed ahead on the three-mile front between Beaucourt 
on the Ancre and Puisieux-au-Mont. 

The capture of Ecouvillon, which made easy the capture of 
Ribecourt, by General Humbert's indefatigable troops, was fol- 
lowed by the occupation of Monolithe Farm. This gave the 
Third French Army a strong position from which to threaten 
the German line of retreat along the road to Noyon. Hardly 
less important was the capture by the French of "Z'' Wood and 
Demery Wood, two heavily timbered tracts where the Germans 
had been holding out for days with grim determination, be- 
cause of the great value of these strong positions. They com- 
manded a wide stretch of ground, and the Allied positions for 
some miles on either side of the two woods were considerably 
strengthened by their capture. They were indeed the last of 
the more important positions on the new front held by the enemy. 
The Germans made an ineffectual attempt to recover Demery, 
but were driven back in disorder with heavy losses. 

The Allies' plans had now made such favorable progress that 
a German retreat on a large scale was anticipated. The appoint- 


ment of General Von Boehm to the command of the German 
army group in the center of the present battle front strength- 
ened this belief. For this officer was known as a '^retreat 
specialist'* who had won a deserved reputation in the art of 
concealing the movements of great masses of troops. It was 
he who had concentrated a great army and in absolute secrecy 
in the forests of the Laon region where he launched the sur- 
prise attack over the Chemin-des-Dames. To Von Boehm also 
belonged the credit of extricating the battered armies of the 
Crown Prince from the Aisne-Marne salient after Foch's mighty 
blow of July 18, 1918. Von Boehm's appearance on the Somme- 
Ois6 front was almost proof that a great German retirement 
was soon to begin. 






WITH almost monotonous regularity the daily record was now 
of continued Allied advancements and enemy defeats. The 
Germans at times offered stout resistance and launched des- 
perate counterattacks, but they were unable to delay more than 
temporarily the mighty forward sweep of the Allies, while 
their losses in men and material reached enormous figures. 

The French forces continued to fight with a dash and ardor 
that carried everything before them. Day and night with few 
chances for repose they fought on over the most difficult ground 
that was constantly flooded with poisonous gases. 

On April 16-17, 1918, Foch's men carried out a successful 
attack northwest of Soissons in the Autreches region, and oper- 
ating on a three-mile front smashed through enemy positions 
to the depth of a mile. They won in this advance the important 
plateau to the north of the village of Autreches, which gave 


them command of the country extending northward, south of 
the Oise River. Further local actions at other points on the 
front greatly strengthened the grip of the Allies on the ap- 
proaches to Roye to the west, north, and south. The Germans 
in that region maintained an incessant artillery fire, but the 
only effect it had was to delay for a time the Allies' advance. 
The French were now within a mile of Roye on two sides. 
British troops under Marshal Haig meanwhile were not idle. 
Good progress was made on the 17th to the north of Proyart, 
just south of the Somme. Farther to the south, troops operat- 
ing north of Lihons, which lies about two miles to the west of 
Chaulnes, pushed their line forward to the depth of a mile. More 
progress was also made in the Amiens-Roye road region and to 
the north of the Ancre River. 

West of Armentieres British troops drove the Germans back 
on a front of four miles between Bailleul and Vieux Berquin 
in the Lys sector. They also captured the village of Outer- 
steene, a mile east of Merris and took 400 prisoners. The 
German positions around Roye continued to be threatened by 
the British pressure, and on August 18, 1918, Marshal Haig's 
men pushed their line forward to the north of that place between 
Chilly and Fransart. 

To the south of the Avre River the French, as they fought 
their way forward, captured over 400 Germans, overcoming 
some important enemy strongholds. 

From the positions captured by the French north of the Aisne 
River the Allies could now dominate the German batteries of 
big guns at Chavigny and Juvigny, north of Soissons. These 
batteries were formidable, commanding not only the city of 
Soissons, but a wide region around. The Allies were now able 
to exert such pressure on the Germans here that they must soon 
be forced to retire and the city of Soissons would be relieved 
of the danger of bombardment. 

Allied operations on two widely separated fronts — ^the British 
on the north of the Lys salient, and the French between the 
Aisne and the Oise — ^had increased the difficulties of the Ger- 
mans in these areas. 


Lassigny was seriously threatened by the capture of Fres- 
mieres (on the Roye highroad two and a half miles to the north) 
by the advance of Foch's troops to the western outskirts of 
the town, and the occupation of the Thiescourt Wood. 

On the night of August 18, 1918, the French launched an 
attack on a front of about fifteen miles east of Ribecourt and 
across the Oise to Fontenoy, six miles west of Soissons. The 
fighting, vigorously pushed on the following day, resulted in 
notable gains for the Allied arms. The capture of the village 
of Rimprez, on the west bank of the Oise on the Noyon-Com- 
pi^gne road, was followed by an advance of two miles north- 
ward to the southern edge of Dressincourt. Equally important 
gains were made at other points in the line of attack. The 
plateau west of Nampcel and Morsain and several other villages 
were carried by storm. In the course of the fighting the French 
captured over 2,000 prisoners, including several battalion com- 

In the Lys salient the British continued the irresistible drive 
forward. Marshal Haig's advance was on a front of nearly 
six miles. His line was carried up to the town of Merviile and 
to the north-and-south road through the town from Les Pure- 
becques on the north to Paradis to the south. 

The victories of the French troops between the Oise and the 
Aisne gave them possession of the Oise Valley as far as Mont 
Renaud. General Mangin, who carried out these successful 
operations, was now in a position to force the enemy to resort 
to desperate measures to escape a serious defeat. His artillery 
now commanded all roads of importance, and the only exit 
available for the Germans from the region of Noyon and Las- 
signy was a narrow-gauge line running north to Ham by way 
of Guiscard and the highroad running in the same direction. 
Von Hutier had either to check Mangin 's advance, or choose 
this narrow outlet for extricating his troops and material. 
Rather than face this alternative, the Germans were offering 
a desperate resistance in an endeavor to hold on to their present 
lines, hoping against hope that something might occur that 
would enable them to shake off the Allies' strangle hold. 


General Debeney's advance on Lassigny and Roye had slack- 
ened up owing to the stout opposition offered by the enemy, but 
he continued to make steady progress. 

In the early morning of August 20, 1918, General Mangin 
began an operation between the Aisne and the Oise southeast 
of Noyon and northwest of Soissons that achieved a splendid 
success. Striking on a fifteen-and-a-half -mile front he smashed 
into the German line to an average depth of two and a half 
miles, capturing seven towns and over 8,000 prisoners. 

By these operations General Mangin wrested from the Ger- 
mans at Cuts and Mont de Choissy all the heights remaining 
south of the Oise in that region. The French batteries now 
commanded a wide sweep of territory and most of the impor- 
tant roads. General Mangin's right, firmly established on the 
heights around Fontenoy, now began to drive the enemy from 
the elevated ground south of the Oise, leaving them no option 
but to cross the river, or retreat toward the east. The Ger- 
mans fought desperately to hold their ground, relying principally 
on their vast number of machine guns. During the night, in 
anticipation of General Mangin's attacks, they had received 
reenforcements brought up from the Soissons front in motor 
lorries to help meet the shock of the French troops. They 
fought with dogged determination, but from the start their 
position was hopeless. Their artillery fire was of the feeblest 
and they had practically no help from airplanes. 

Continuing their attacks in the region northwest of Soissons, 
General Mangin's troops captured Lassigny. The advance, made 
over a front of fifteen miles, smashed the German lines at some 
points to the depth of five miles. To the southeast of Lassigny, 
by winning a foothold in Plemont, the French menaced the 
Germans' grip on the valley of Divette. Across the Oise and 
farther east, Mangin's men had reached the river from the 
south between Sempigny and Pontoise. In the conquered ter- 
ritory, won in less than twenty-four hours, the Germans wer^ 
driven from twenty villages. 

While the French were driving the Germans before them and 
winning wide stretches of territory, the Third British Army 


under General Sir Julian Byng was adding to the glory of 
British arms. Under cover of a heavy fog, General Byng at- 
tacked on a ten-mile front from the Ancre River to the neigh- 
borhood of Moyenville, driving back the enemy along the whole 
line and gaining at some points ground to the depth of two 
miles. General von Below's Seventeenth Army, which the Brit- 
ish fought against, was badly cut up; their losses in guns and 
men were so heavy as to suggest that the German morale was 
crumbling, and that their fighting power was rapidly disinte- 

It was just at daybreak that the British big guns began the 
overture that preceded the attack. The fog was so dense that 
the men in the tanks could not see more than a hundred feet 
ahead, but it was favorable to the assaulting formations as it 
served to shield their movements from the enemy observers. 
The German guns replied only feebly, showing that they were 
short of heavy cannon, a fact that had been noted before in 
recent fighting in this region. Their chief dependence on this 
occasion was in machine guns, with which they seemed to be 
exceedingly supplied. Situated in isolated posts, these did 
effective work, and there was sharp fighting at various points. 
The German garrison occupying the shell-shattered ruins of 
what had been the village of Courcelles, near the center of the 
battle front, made a stubborn resistance, and for a time the 
advance of the British infantry was held up at this point. With 
the arrival on the scene of a drove of tanks, German resistance 
broke down. The machine-gun nests were quickly smashed, and 
the gunners killed or made prisoners; and wherever there was 
resistance the tanks quickly crushed out all desire of the enemy 
to continue the fight. 

Engaged in this advance were tanks of various types, and all 
found their work cut out for them. The big tanks smashed in 
the enemy defenses, dipped in and out of shell holes and per- 
formed all the heavy work, while the small whippet tanks and 
armored cars dashed around at high speed attacking gun nests 
from the rear and clearing the way for the advance of the 
infantry. Despite the vigorous resistance offered by the Ger^ 


mans at some points, the British losses in casualties were com- 
paratively small, and some formations met with none at all. 
The village of Beaucourt was won with only three casualties. 

When the fog lifted about noon, and the sun shone out, the 
Germans attempted several counterattacks, but were unable 
to force the British to relinquish a foot of the territory they 
had gained. 

In the morning of August 22, 1918, the British delivered a 
new attack on a six-mile front between Albert and Bray on 
the Somme, which was entirely successful, all objectives being 
won and an advance made of two miles. The important town 
of Albert was captured and 1,400 prisoners and a large number 
of cannon. North of the Ancre the battle raged throughout 
the day, and the Germans were forced to fall back all along 
the line. Isolated counterattacks were attempted, but they 
crumbled beneath the hammer blows of the British armies. 
There was hard fighting along the Arras-Albert railway em- 
bankment for the valuable positions that overlook the flat 
country around. To the south from Achiet-le-Grand to the 
Ancre the opposing armies swept back and forth in attacks 
and counterattacks again and again renewed. At Achiet-le- 
Grand and Miraumont, where the Germans launched their most 
ambitious counterattacks, they employed fresh troops that had 
been rushed forward from other sectors to relieve Von Below's 
hard-pressed Seventeenth Army. 

During August 21-22, 1918, the French Third and Fourth 
Armies under General Mangin continued to press their advance 
night and day along the front from Lassigny to the north of 
Soissons. At some points an advance of seven miles was made, 
and there was evidence that the Germans were so badly mauled 
that their retreat amounted practically to a rout. 

The French push toward the roads leading to Chauny menaced 
the enemy's line of retirement and explained his hurried retreat. 
By the capture of Bouguignon, St. Paul-aux-Bois, and Quincy 
the French had won command of the valley of the Ailette 
from the region of Coucy-le-Chateau to the Oise. General Hum- 
bert's troops also made notable gains and wrested important 


positions from the enemy. By the occupation of the height of 
Plemont and the capture of Thiescourt the French now held all 
the hills known as the Thiescourt Massif, thus giving them the 
strongest points overlooking the region around. 

It was evident in different parts of the fighting area that the 
Germans were in a confused and even panic-stricken state of 
mind. The French advance guard was so close to them when 
they crossed the Oise that they had not time to destroy the 
bridges over the river. Allied observers noted streams of enemy 
transports in wild confusion back of the fighting front, and all 
discipline and order seemed to have been lost. Upon the Ailette 
front the sudden attack of the French caused the hasty retreat 
of a division of German reserves which had been brought 
forwaid to launch a counterattack. Falling back, this division 
precipitated a panic in the ranks of another division which had 
intended to support the first division's attack, and the result was 
.a confused and disorderly retreat. 

Marshal Foch's plan to give the enemy no rest day or night, 
and to follow up each blow by another, a plan which had 
resulted in great victories for the Allies and constant demoral- 
ization of the forces of the enemy, continued to be the order of 
the day. The British, operating on a thirty-mile front, unceas- 
ingly hammered Crown Prince Rupprecht's armies, striking 
suddenly at different points, and always advancing in spite 
of the most determined opposition. The Third and Fourth 
British Armies under Generals Byng and Rawlinson made im- 
portant gains on August 22-23, 1918. It was a day of disaster 
for the Germans, whose desperate attempts to check the British 
advance resulted only in frightful losses of men and accom- 
plished nothing. Prince Rupprecht sacrificed his troops reck- 
lessly in an effort to stave off the inevitable. The British guns 
swept the Germans from the field, or crushed them as they tried 
to force their way forward. One entire German battalion was 
annihilated during the fighting. General Byng made an advance 
of two miles to the neighborhood of Grandcourt, east of the 
Ancre. Gomiecourt and four other villages were carried by 
storm. To the north the British captured Achiet-le-Grand, 


which is on the Arras-Albert railroad, and for the possession 
of which Germans and British had been fighting for some days 

Field Marshal Haig's armies continued to deal the German 
forces staggering blows as they drove forward. Bray, on the 
northern bank of the Somme, was captured on August 23, 
1918. Thiepval, a strong position on high ground and which 
dominated miles of territory, was occupied by British forces 
after a hard struggle and against the concentrated fire of count- 
less machine guns. Miraumont, in the center of the battle front 
and to which the Germans clung with desperate energy, was 
now surrounded on all sides and its fall was only a question of 
a few hours. The British were now driving ahead in the 
direction of Bapaume, and on the 23d occupied a small town on 
the outskirts. Croisilles, north of Mory, some miles east of 
the Arras-Bapaume road, was also won, marking the extreme 
point of the British advance for the day in the northern battle 

North of the river Scarpe the fighting was intense. The 
British, despite stiff opposition, penetrated the old German line 
and made important gains when they attacked Givenchy. The 
Germans fought bravely, contesting every yard of ground, but 
it was a losing battle, and the field was littered thickly with 
their dead. They had brought up new divisions that were 
thrown into the fight, but the reenforcements were unable to 
check, except temporarily, the Allies* continuous push forward. 

On the French front General Mangin's troops had crossed the 
Oise and reached the outskirts of the village of Morlincourt, 
a mile and a quarter from the railway station of Noyon, The 
fall of that place within a short time was inevitable. 

The French advance on the Soissons end of the battle front 
proceeded more slowly, but the forward movement was not 
arrested. Their operations in this region threatened the turn- 
ing of both the Chemin-des-Dames and the German positions 
on the Vesle. On August 23, 1918, General Hangings troops had 
won the greater part of the Juvigny Plateau, which brought 
them to the edge of the battle field of 1917. To the north lay 


the Ailette Valley. Eight miles eastward was Laffaux Mill and 
the beginning of the Chemin-des-Dames, familiar landmarks 
and the scene of intense fighting in the previous year. 

On the battle front north of the Somme the British armies 
continued to advance in the face of heavy resistance from the 
Germans, who had been strongly reenforced in the course of 
the past twenty-four hours (August 24-25, 1918). Haig's 
troops had captured a dozen villages and carried their new front 
within a thousand yards of the old Hindenburg Line. From 
Albert to Bapaume, the whole length of the highroad was now 
in British hands. East of Bray Australian troops carried im- 
portant heights in possession of the enemy. North of Bapaume 
the villages of Sapignies and Behagnies, which formed part of 
the defenses of the town, were taken by British troops. The 
Germans, as they retired, left great quantities of stores, equip- 
ment and military supplies on the field. They destroyed what 
they could, but a vast amount fell to the victors. 

Since August 21, 1918, the British had captured over 17,000 
prisoners and a great number of cannon and machine guns. 

The British advance owed much of its success to the wonder- 
ful service performed by the motor cars, which did scout work 
far in advance of the infantry. They continued throughout 
the fighting to harass the enemy and strike confusion in his 
ranks, falling upon transport columns and inflicting terrible 
damage. They attacked retreating bodies of Germans and 
mowed them down with machine guns, and were everywhere 
active factors in the demoralization of the enemy. The tanks 
cooperating with the armored cars were no less effective. 
Breaking the way for the advancing troops they rolled into the 
towns and cleaned out the strong points under floods of fire. 
The Germans never lost their fear of the tanks and it was not 
unusual during the British advance for large bodies to surrender 
as soon as one of the grim-looking monsters lumbered into view. 

An interesting incident in connection with the capture of 

Thiepval Ridge is related, when a British detachment was 

saved by an aeroplane. This detachment, pressing forward too 

fast, found itself out of touch with the main body and was 

War St. 8— Cc 


suddenly surrounded by Germans. An observer in the air 
noted their predicament and dropped a message "Stick it out." 
He then notified the British command and troops were rushed 
to the rescue, and the Germans were driven off. 

German prisoners captured when Miraumont fell said that 
they had been three days without food. All seemed happy 
that they were out of the war, especially the Alsatians who had 
been placed in German regiments. 

"If any of us are caught deserting," said an Alsatian prisoner, 
"his family is punished, and even his female relatives are sent 
to dig in the front-line and other trenches." 

In the course of this British drive forty-two German divisions 
had suffered heavy losses; 40,000 soldiers and several hundred 
officers in prisoners alone. 

On August 25, 1918, the troops of the Third French Army, 
fighting in water up to their waists in the marshes along the 
Avre, captured two of the strongest defenses of Roye. The first 
attack was made on the village of Fresnoy, two and a half 
miles to the north of Roye, where the Germans had restored 
their old fortifications of 1914-17, and had filled the neighbor- 
hood with machine-gun nests. After a brief artillery prepara- 
tion the French stormed the concrete blockhouses and killed the 
gunners serving their pieces. Fresnoy was a notable stronghold 
and one of the centers of German resistance around Roye from 
which they had launched their counterattacks in attempts to 
check the advance. The Germans had orders to hold the place 
at any cost, but the French attacking from the north and south 
simultaneously bore down all resistance. Four hundred prison- 
ers, including sixteen officers, were captured in the town. 
Another strong outpost of Roye, the village of St. Mard in the 
marshes of the Avre, was won by General Debeney's men in 
the afternoon after a violent struggle. The Germans had sur- 
rounded their concrete blockhouses with water let in from the 
Avre and through the floods in the face of intense machine-gun 
fire the French had to force their way to capture the position. 

Roye was now invested from the north, west and south, and 
the German hold on the place was slowly weakened. North of 


Soissons, on the far right of the French line, the Germans 
renewed their efforts against the line from Pont-St. Mard to 
Juvigny. They were thrown back everywhere, the French 
making new gains and occupying Domaine Wood. 

On the same day, while the French were making progress 
against heavy odds, British troops were in battle on a thirty- 
mile front, from the river Scarpe at a point east of Arras to 
Lihons south of the Somme, crossing the Hindenburg line on 
the northern sector of their attack. Canadians captured the 
villages of Wancourt and Monchy-le-Preux which formed part 
of the famous German defense, and they continued to make 
progress in an easterly direction. Scottish troops, driving for- 
ward on the north bank of the Scarpe, reached the outskirts of 
Roeux, north of Monchy-le-Preux. 

General Debeney's First Army, after crushing the Germans 
in their battle positions around Roye, captured the town and 
continued pursuing the enemy who were retreating on a line 
from Hallu to the region south of Roye. The French advance 
was made on a twelve-mile front, and territory was gained to 
a depth of two and a half miles, the Germans being forced back 
on both sides of the Avre River. 

By encircling tactics the French smashed the numerous 
machine-gun nests that were the backbone of the defense. One 
after another heavily fortified positions were turned and the 
Germans were forced to surrender the first and then the second 
line of defenses of 1914, to which they had retreated after 
being driven out of Montdidier. 

The second German line was broken in the morning of August 
26, 1918, when the French infantry, after repulsing a counter- 
attack at St. Mard, encircled Roye and drove the enemy back 
some miles east of the town. 

The British continued their attacks eastward along the 
southern bank of the Scarpe, occupying a considerable portion 
of the Hindenburg line and Cherisy, Vis-en-Artois, and the 
Bois du Sart, an advance of nearly four miles. In the night 
Canadians and Scottish troops carried Roeux and Fontaine- 
les-Croisilles, and the slopes around. North of the Scarpe, 


Gavrelle was occupied, and farther south between Croisilles 
and Bapaume New Zealanders and English, crushing heavy 
attacks by German reenforcements, continued to make good 

Bapaume was now farther threatened by this extension of 
the British attack to the north. The Germans had been forced 
back to the north of the city and their counterattacks on the 
south had utterly broken down. The capture of Montauban by 
the British marked an advance of two miles in twenty-four 
hours. Bazentin-le-Grand, southwest of Bapaume, was also 
occupied by Marshal Haig's men. This place lies a little to the 
west of the highroad from Bapaume to the Somme and its cap- 
ture made the German hold in the region increasingly difficult. 
Bapaume was now being gradually surrounded by the Allies, 
and its fall was only a question of time. 

During August 27-28, 1918, the French continued to drive the 
Germans before them on the whole front from Chaulnes to the 
Oise. In less than twenty-four hours General Humbert's troops 
made an advance of eight miles through a difficult country of 
woods, hills, and ravines west of Noyon. Mont Renaud, a famous 
stronghold commanding the Oise Valley, was carried by storm. 
Pushing on to the gates of Noyon the French surrounded the 
last bastion, Poqueri-Court Hill. 

The capture of Chaulnes further precipitated the German 
retreat north of the Avre River. The French engaged in close 
pursuit of the foe, whom they continued to harass with mustard- 
gas shells the Germans left behind, and which were being fired 
from German guns by French gunners. In the course of the 
night General Debeney's troops advanced four and a half miles, 
and by morning were on the outskirts of Nesle, close on the heels 
of the retreating foe. 

After the fall of Chaulnes, Gomiecourt to the north and Sept 
Fours and a score of other villages were captured. 

The territory abandoned by the Germans in the retreat pre- 
sented scenes of desolation and ruin unsurpassed since the war 
began. The names of towns had no longer any significance but 
as geographical designations. As places of habitation they had 


ceased to exist, and even their sites were difficult to recognize. 
The cemeteries were blown up and ruined and the contents of 
the graves scattered. At Roye and other towns the Germans 
had carefully filled the ruins with mustard gas which for a time 
prevented the Allies from occupying these places. 

Croisilles, the strong German position to the north of Ba- 
paume, which had long held out against British attacks, was 
captured by a flanking movement by Haig's men on August 
27, 1918. Further gains were made at all points on the battle 
line between Bapaume and the river Scarpe. North of the 
Arras-Cambrai road the Canadians captured the villages of 
Boiry and Pelves. On the north bank of the Somme British 
troops occupied Curly and Hardecourt, and drove forward in 
the direction of Maurepas. South of the river, Australians in 
an advance of between four and five miles were on their way 
to the crossings of the Somme at Peronne and Brie, encounter- 
ing hard resistance from the Germans as they pushed on. 

A large German force was brought up to attack the British 
positions east of Monchy. According to the statements of 
prisoners, some of the German companies at the last moment 
refused to fight, and the others were forced to go ahead without 
them. For tactical reasons the British withdrew a few hun- 
dred yards and then organized an attack that drove the Ger- 
mans from the field, and they were seen no more that day. 
According to an eyewitness the ground in this region was in 
parts literally carpeted with bodies in field gray. 

The total captures of the Allies on the western front since 
July 18, 1918, were now over 120,000 prisoners and over 2,000 
guns. The British captured between August 21, 1918, and 
August 26, 1918, more than 21,000 prisoners of all ranks, and 
their own losses in killed, wounded, and missing during this 
period was only slightly in excess of this number. Since 
August 8, 1918, the British captures exceeded 47,000 officers 
and men, and over 600 guns. 

It was evidently the purpose of the Germans at this stage 
to retire to a shorter line on the western front where they could 
obtain better defensive positions against the Allies' blows, and. 


so economize their forces. The rapid advance of the British 
on both sides of the Scarpe, which threatened to flank the 
entire Hindenburg position, was a serious obstacle in the way 
of the Germans carrying out their plan. 





NOYON, the important German stronghold at the peak of the 
Oise Canal du Nord salient, was captured by General Hum- 
bert's troops after heavy fighting on August 29, 1918. Con- 
tinuing to drive forv/ard, French forces obtained a grip on the 
southern slopes of Mont St. Simeon to the east, the strongest 
German position remaining in that sector. About the same 
time another French army under General Mangin had forced 
a crossing of the Oise at Morlincourt and captured Landri- 
mont. North of Noyon a third French army under General 
Debeney took Quesnoy Wood, which narrowed the pocket 
from the western side and brought the French within shell- 
ing distance of the main road leading out of it in the direction 
of Ham. 

The attempt of the Germans to stem the French pursuit by 
fighting rear-guard actions with machine-gun sections was only 
locally successful. On favorable ground it succeeded in delaying 
the advance, but the fast drive of the French advance guard 
forced the enemy to risk an engagement with strong forces, or 
hasten his retreat. The Germans chose the latter alternative 
and fled along the road leading to St. Quentin, La Fere, and the 
Hindenburg line. 

The continued pressure of Humbert's army from the west, 
and Mangin's troops v/hich crossed the Oise from the south 
and took Morlincourt while another French contingent was 


entering Noyon, further added to the difficulties of the enemy, 
and threatened General von Hutier's army with disaster. 

Bapaume, which for several days had been surrounded by 
British forces, was occupied on August 29, 1918, and the Ger- 
mans were in full retreat, trying to get away behind their rear 
guards before they were caught and annihilated. North of the 
Scarpe River, beyond Arras, and across the old Somme battle 
fields by Ginchy, Guillemont, and Morval, British troops were 
pushing on, and in the Australian fighting zone by Feuillieres 
and Belloy above the Somme the enemy was fleeing in wild 
haste, leaving vast stores of guns and ammunition behind. The 
German rear guards maintained at times a fierce resistance to 
gain time for an orderly retreat and delay the capture of 
Peronne until the enormous stores there could be removed. 
From Bapaume and Bullecourt to the north of the Arras- 
Cambrai road the German army was swiftly disappearing 
from all the country west of the Somme and from the battle 
fields beyond Delville Wood. The same British soldiers now 
driving forward on the heels of the retreating foe were in March 
falling back over the same ground when the Germans had over- 
whelming numbers in their favor. 

The French armies during August 29-30, 1918, continued to 
make important strategic gains. Among the most notable was 
the occupation of Mont St. Simeon, a height which protected 
the German flank, a great natural rampart on which the enemy 
relied for protection during his retreat before the attacks of 
Generals Debeney and Rawlinson. 

East, and northeast of Bapaume, the British forces continued 
to go forward and gain ground. At Bullecourt on the Hinden- 
burg Line and at Hendecourt to the east of the line the advance 
was held up by the strong German counterattacks. These 
places, which had been captured by the British on August 
29, 1918, became untenable under the enemy assaults and 
Marshal Haig's troops were forced to withdraw to the west 
of them. 

At other points good progress was made, the British captur- 
ing several villages on the Arras-Bapaume front while they 


advanced their line both on the Arras-Cambrai and the Bapaume- 
Cambrai roads. Farther to the south the Britis?i to the north 
of the Somme went forward in the direction of Peronne, taking 
Combles and Clery. By these operations they had completely 
freed the country south and west of the Somme of the Germans. 
The last of the enemy were driven behind the river in the morn- 
ing of August 30, 1918. 

On the last day of the month Australian troops in a valorous 
charge stormed Mont St. Quentin and Feuilleucourt to the north 
of Peronne, capturing 1,500 Germans by the operation. The 
seizure of an important height near St. Quentin village gave 
the British a commanding position to threaten Peronne, and it 
was inevitable that the fall of that place could not be long 

While the Australians were closely engaged near Peronne a 
contingent of English troops on the left captured Marrieres 
Wood and high ground farther north of the Peronne-Bapaume 
road. At various points between Kem_mel and Bethune the 
Germans were in retreat, and the British gained considerable 
ground. Bailleul was now in British hands, and their patrols 
had gained a foothold on Mont de Lille. Advances were also 
made to the east of La Couture and Veille Chapelle, and on the 
Scherpenberg from southwest of Ypres the British crossed old 
enemy trenches without meeting any opposition. 

Peronne, the German stronghold on the great bend of the 
Somme River, was captured in a brilliant attack made by the 
Australians on September 1, 1918. It was inevitable after the 
occupation of Mont St. Quentin on the day before by these 
same valorous troops that the town must soon be abandoned 
by the Germans, but it was owing to the quick action of the 
Australians that they were forced out so soon. Owing to the 
admirable work performed by English engineers at the river 
crossings the Australians were able to move their guns forward 
over the Somme and fire at close range on the enemy. Co- 
operating with the Australians, London troops captured Boucha- 
vesnes, four miles to the north of Peronne, and Rancourt, both 
villages on the road to Bapaume. Over 2,000 prisoners were 


taken in these operations. Farther to the north the Germans 
fled before the British approach, evacuating several villages 
to the south of Bapaume. 

To the northeast of this place, astride the Hindenburg line, 
the enemy offered strong opposition, but the British crushed 
every attack and won the much-fought-over ruins of Bullecourt 
and Hendecourt. 

In the Lys salient it was much the same story, the Germans 
continuing to retreat and the British to pursue. In the course 
of twenty-four hours* fighting Haig's troops gained about two 
miles on a front of twenty miles. The British had now reached 
the outskirts of Lens, where large fires were seen burning, an 
indication of further German retirement. 

The British had every reason to feel proud of their achieve- 
ments in August, 1918, for in addition to the large territory 
won from the enemy they captured in that month 57,318 
prisoners, 657 guns, more than 5,790 machine guns, and over 
1,000 trench mortars, besides a vast quantity of stores and war 
material of every description. 

North and south of the Aillette River, General Hangings 
troops made further advances, on the first day of the month 
capturing Crecy-au-Mont on the southern bank, and gaining a 
firm hold west of Coucy-le-Chateau. A few miles to the south 
the French stormed the town of Leury and took more than 1,000 
prisoners. Two miles northeast of Nesle, Rouy-le-Petit was 
occupied, and other French forces crossed the Somme Canal at 
Epenancourt seven miles south of Peronne. 

One of the most notable achievements of the British advance 
was carrying the famous Queant-Drocourt "switch line" on Sep- 
tember 1-2, 1918. This strongly fortified stretch of trenches was 
won by English, Scottish, and Canadian troops on a front of 
about six miles. The Germans considered this one of their 
strongest positions and made desperate efforts to hold it, but 
were unable to hold back the impetuous drive of the British 
forces, which were in high spirits over their almost continuous 
victories. The fighting became fast and furious, and the Ger- 
mans rushed forward reenforcements, but it was a losing game 


for them from the first and their losses were appalling. The 
British captured thousands of prisoners; the roads to the rear 
of the fighting front were jammed with them. In parts of the 
battle field bodies in field-gray lay in piles. 

The Canadians, whose attack was made astride the road from 
Arras to Cambrai, captured the villages of Dury, Cagnicourt, 
and Villers-les-Cagnicourt, the last place being four miles beyond 
the point from which the attack was launched. 

The left wing of the attacking forces, composed of English 
troops, drove a wedge in the German defenses northeast of 
Eterpigny, while the right composed of English and Scottish 
troops driving forward in the direction of Queant captured a 
string of strongly fortified positions including the village of 
Noreuil. Southward to a point beyond Peronne the tide of 
battle swept, the British capturing towns and villages and 
always advancing. On the Lys front it was the same story, the 
Germans in retreat, the British in close pursuit. They took 
Neuve Eglise, a place not forgotten in former fights, and pushed 
their line forward to the east of Estaires. 

American troops after the capture of Voormezeele in Flan- 
ders advanced from that village and linked up with the British 
in close pursuit of the German rear guards. The French, push- 
ing forward north of Soissons, noted great fires in the direction 
of Vauxaillon, indicating that the enemy was burning his supplies 
previous to retirement. They had now completed the conquest 
of the Soissons Plateau and the Germans were forced to retire 
to the Chemin-des-Dames, which was already threatened by the 
French advance toward Vauxaillon. 

Field Marshal Haig's troops continued their victorious advance 
on September 3, 1918, gaining Baralle, eight miles from Cam- 
brai, crossing the Drocourt-Queant line and forcing the Ger- 
mans to retire in haste to the Canal du Nord. They carried by 
storm Queant, and thirteen other villages were taken on a 
twenty-mile front, which attained a maximum depth of six 
miles. In the course of these operations the British took over 
10,000 prisoners. Their outposts had now been pushed forward 
to the outskirts of Lens. 


On the following day the eastward sweep of British troops 
north of Peronne continued. On a front of about fifteen miles 
northward from Moislains they forced a crossing of the Canal 
du Nord and made substantial progress eastward. 

Meanwhile north of the Vesle on a front of nearly twenty- 
miles the German armies were in full retreat before the advance 
of Franco-American armies. 

Simultaneously the French were making important gains 
northeast of Noyon, and were driving the Germans before them 
iu the territory between the Canal du Nord and the Oise. 

French armies continued to drive the Germans before them 
in southern Picardy, cooperating with the Americans in the 
territory between the Vesle and Aisne Rivers. At some points 
the French advanced their line seven miles and captured on the 
way some thirty villages. They crossed the Canal and 
pressed forward in the direction of Ham with its roads leading 
io St. Quentin and La Fere. By the capture of Coucy-le-Chateau 
to the south and neighboring towns they threatened the German 
defenses of the Chemin-des-Dames. North of the Vesle, Vv^here 
the Americans were taking part in the advance, the Allied line 
was pushed to the southern bank of the Aisne on a front of 
more than eight miles. 

On September 5-6, 1918, the French, with the Americans 
cooperating, continued to press on at the heels of the retreating 
Germans. From the posts of the Americans on the Aisne to 
the breaches in the Hindenburg line north of Cambrai, on a 
front of more than ninety miles, the Allies pushed the advance. 
The drive southeast from the Somme resulted in the capture 
of the important juncture point of Ham and Chauny. North 
of the Aisne they occupied all the old trenches along the front 
and threatened the German hold on the Chemin-des-Dames. 

The British armies, linking up with the French advancing on 
Ham, and into the territory to the south, continued their for- 
ward movement eastward from the Somme. From this river, 
south of Peronne, the troops of Field Marshal Haig had pene- 
trated German positions about seven miles on a twelve-mile 
front and occupied six important villages. 


Vast supplies of coal and road-building material were cap- 
tured during this advance, which offered conclusive proof that 
the Germans had planned to hold all winter the line from which 
they had been driven. 

Sporadic attempts were made by the enemy to hold up the 
British drive, but their troops developed no staying power and 
their attacks generally broke down after the failure of the first 
fierce onslaught. Haig's warriors had now entered the old de- 
fense system which they had held before the beginning of the 
great German offensive in March, 1918. 

The French continued to make good progress in their advance 
along the banks of the St. Quentin Canal north of the Somme, 
capturing Hamel and three other villages to the west of it. 
South of the Somme they encountered heavy resistance. The 
village of Avesnes which they had won was retaken by the 
Germans, but after a hard struggle it remained in French 

Progress was also made on both sides of the Oise, the French 
advancing within two miles of La Fere to the northern edge 
of the forest of St. Gobain, which forms the western defense of 
the Laon region. The Massif of St. Gobain formed the pivot 
of the German system, whose importance was only comparable 
to that of Cambrai for British operations. 

One great factor which aided materially in the advance of 
the Allies was the great increase in their engines of offense, 
whether in armored cars, tanks, Stokes guns, or great cannon, 
that could smash whole blocks of defense at one shot. The 
French were now supplied with howitzers of twenty-one inch 
caliber whose shell, over six feet long, could wreck a dozen bat- 
teries in a protected ravine, or wipe out an entire regiment 
hidden in an apparently impenetrable cave. 

So far the first part of Marshal Foch's program had been 
accomplished. The Germans had been driven back along the 
whole line from Arras to Rheims, and had practically lost all 
ground won in their four great drives which began on March 
21, 1918, and ended on July 18, 1918, when Foch dealt a smash- 
ing blow on their flank between the Marne and the Aisne. 


During September 9-10, 1918, in spite of heavy rainstorms 
which halted Haig's men to provide shelters on recovered ground, 
the British advanced their line nearer Cambrai, fighting off 
strong German attacks in that region. Meanwhile the French 
gained three and a half miles, and occupied positions near St. 
Quentin on three sides. This new dash brought them nearer 
the flanking of La Fere on the north and south. 

September 12, 1918, was a memorable day in the history of 
ihe American Army in France when under command of General 
Pershing they launched an attack from all sides of the St. 
Mihiel salient that resulted in the capture of the town of that 
name and over 13,000 prisoners. The American army was now 
operating under its own command instead of fighting as part of a 
British or French army. All day and far into the night the fight 
was continuous on the British front, when the heights of Avrin- 
court were stormed and positions won that overlooked the Ger- 
man defenses for many miles. Further progress was made in 
the Havrincourt region during September 13-14, 1918, where 
to the southeast of Cambrai the British established posts east 
and north of the village of Havrincourt. General Petain mean- 
while had launched an attack on an eleven-mile front on both 
sides of the Ailette River between the Aisne and the Vesle, ad- 
vancing his line to a distance of two miles at the farthest point 
and capturing over 1,000 prisoners. This French drive was of 
special importance, for it threatened to turn the flank of the 
German defensive positions on the Chemin-des-Dames, and 
weakened the enemy's hold on Laon. South of the Ailette the 
French won the famous Mont des Singes, and the villages of 
Allemant and Sanoy. 

In the morning of September 14, 1918, General Mangin's 
troops struck a new blow at the German salient north of Sois- 
sons. The French advance was so rapid that at one point a 
German colonel and his entire staff were captured. The taking 
of Laffaux Mill, a point of vital importance to the enemy, meant 
the gain of a valuable portion of the Hindenburg line. The 
^Germans made a desperate effort to maintain their hold on this 
position, but in spite of their employment of strong reserves 


they were unable to delay more than a short time the French 
advance. On General Mangin's right, the Mennejean Farm 
was the scene of the most stubborn fighting during the day. The 
Germans had transformed every shell crater into miniature forts 
and machine-gun nests which had to be overcome one by one 
by grenade fighting of the fiercest description. But the Germans 
failed everywhere to check the French, who by noon had carried 
the entire position and bagged over 2,500 prisoners. 

After the capture of Havrincourt and neighboring towns by 
the British, followed by counterattacks which were everywhere 
repulsed, there was no important infantry action attempted and 
the Germans settled down to shelling the line. 

British and French troops in . coordinated operations on a 
twenty-two-mile front advanced their lines on the outlying de- 
fenses of St. Quentin on September 18, 1918. The British attack 
was made by English, Irish, Scottish, and Australian troops on 
a sixteen-mile front to the northwest of the city and resulted 
in the capture of over 6,000 prisoners and the occupation of 
ten villages and outer defenses of the Hindenburg line in wide 
sectors. The push was made in the midst of a pouring rain and 
the Germans offered strong resistance, but the British, elated 
with victory, drove forward and crushed all opposition. 

While the British were driving ahead, the French on their 
immediate right attacked and advanced their lines a mile and 
a quarter on a six-mile front, reaching the western outskirts 
of Francilly-Silency, three miles west of St. Quentin, and the 
southern edge of Contescourt, four miles southwest of that city, 
marking their nearest approaches to the German base. During 
the night of September 18, 1918, the British continued to drive 
forward into the Hindenburg outposts northwest of St. Quentin, 
^Sipturing the village of Lempire and Gauche Wood. In the 
course of two days* fighting in this region the British captured 
10,000 prisoners and over sixty guns. 

Late in the day of September 18, 1918, the Germans counter- 
attacked on a wide front west of Cambrai between Gouzeaucourt 
and the Arras-Cambrai road. Starting off with a bombardment 
of great intensity they launched an infantry attack northward 


from Trescault, but were repulsed at all points with heavy 
losses. North of Moeuvres, the Sixth German Division, under 
cover of a heavy barrage, and while forty German batteries 
were at work, made a determined attack on the British positions. 
Though their lines were torn and formations shattered by the 
British field batteries and the steady machine-gun and rifle 
fire, they still pressed forward, climbing over the bodies of their 
dead. At a tragic cost of life a few of the advanced British 
positions were penetrated, but before the end of the day after 
a stubborn struggle they were expelled and the British reoccu- 
pied the positions. 

The fighting here had been costly for the British as well as 
for the foe. The Germans displayed complete disregard for 
life and demonstrated a spirit of initiative that was quite un- 
usual. German machine gunners established themselves in some 
derelict British tanks which they transformed into forts, sweep- 
ing the area around with machine-gun bullets that wrought 
considerable destruction. Groups of German machine gunners 
in other parts of the field, and aided by som.e infantry, estab- 
lished themselves in wrecked villages, in woods, and earth- 
works, and in old trench systems, where the British line of 
advance passed just beyond them. Other British troops follow- 
ing the first waves suffered considerably from the attacks of 
these independent fighters. It was necessary to mop up each 
isolated post before the advance could be continued. 

The French meanwhile had been pushing their lines closer 
to St. Quentin from the south and the southwest. During the 
night of September 18-19, 1918, they fought their way into 
Contescourt, which lies four miles to the southwest of St. Quen- 
tin, and in the morning occupied Castres, about half a mile to 
the northeast. Farther east and south they advanced to the 
outskirts of Benay, a town six miles south of the city. 

The strongly fortified village of Moeuvres, seven miles wes*^ 
of Cambrai, which had been the scene of intense fighting for 
some days, was captured by the British in the morning of Sep- 
tember 20, 1918. The Germans fought stubbornly to hold the 
village, which with its covering positions consisted of a solid 


mass of trenches and dugouts covering a square mile of ground. 
It was the junction of the main and support Hindenburg Una 
and the most formidable obstacle that the British encountered 
anywhere in that defensive system. 

The occupation by the British of a series of redoubts around 
the Malassise Farm brought their line nearer to the St. Quentin 
Canal at Vendhuile. Only three fortified villages now remained 
in German hands on the battle front between Villers-Guislain 
and the defenses of St. Quentin. With the capture of Ronssoy 
by English County troops, Lempire, a village one mile to 
the north, was completely cleared of the enemy. The Germans 
were now clinging to strong positions in ravines, quarries, and 
ditches between Lempire and Villers-Guislain, but they had 
suffered so severely in recent counterattacks that they attempted 
no more. 

In the course of operations on September 21 and 22, 1918, 
advances were made by English troops east of Epihy, and the 
Australians near Hargicourt made new inroads into the outer 
defenses of the Hindenburg line northwest of St. Quentin. The 
most extensive gain was made north of the Scarpe River, where 
\he Germans were thrown back on a two-mile front. 

South of Villers-Guislain, and to the right of this sector, the 
Germans launched a powerful counterattack which was crushed 
by the British, who flung the enemy back and took advantage 
of the opportunity to carry forward their line. 

On the French front in spite of increased enemy resistance 
substantial gains were made daily. By the capture of the woods 
north of Lys-Fontaine the Germans were forced to evacuate 
Vendhuile to escape being cornered there with their backs to the 
river Oise. General Debeney's troops now held all the west 
bank of the Oise for more than half the distance from La F^re 
to Moy. The French had now reached the heavy, marshy coun- 
try south of the valley of the Oise, which offered great difficul- 
ties to any troops that might attempt a crossing north of 
La Fere. 

Debeney's men continued to advance all day September 22, 
1918, toward the La Fere road south of St. Quentin, and as they 


approached nearer the Hindenburg line around that place the 
Germans made determined efforts to keep them from it. North 
of the Somme they were hurriedly organizing a defensive sys- 
tem on a line of heights running parallel to the Hindenburg 
positions from east of Holnon to Hill 23, and thence through 
Hill 138 east of Savy Wood to Dallon Height on the road from 
Ham to St. Quentin. 

South of the Somme the French advanced into a defense 
line parallel to the Hindenburg positions, by winning a height 
northeast of Castres, the line of ridges connecting Urvillers and 
Cerizy and the spur that dominates Mayot from the west. 

British and French troops on September 24, 1918, attacking 
on adjacent fronts totaling about seven miles, made advances 
that tightened their grip on St. Quentin from the northwest, 
west, and southwest. 

By the capture of Pontruet, Marshal Haig*s troops had now 
advanced within three-quarters of a mile of important defenses 
of the Hindenburg line at the bend of St. Quentin Canal. 
On the right wing of the British, the French took Francilly- 
Silency, Dallon, and other villages which, with the British occu- 
pation of the high ground west of Fayot, gave the Allies a line 
of positions lying in a five-mile arc of a circle with a radius 
of less than three miles from the center at St. Quentin. 

General Gouraud's troops attacking the German positions in 
the Champagne on September 26, 1918, won their first objectives 
within a few hours, and took Serven which had been in the hands 
of the enemy since 1914. Gouraud's troops also occupied the 
high ground positions of the Butte de Mesnil and the Navarin 
Farm. The abandonment by the Germans of strong positions 
which they had held for a long time, and had made as impreg- 
nable as human ingenuity could devise, demonstrated that they 
were in a panicky and nervous state of mind. 

The Third and Fourth British Armies under General Sir 
Henry Home and Sir Julian Byng made an attack before day- 
break on September 27, 1918, on a wide front toward Cambrai, 
Send were successful in carrying all their objectives. The prin- 
cipal attack was on a front of fourteen miles, and resulted in 

War St. 8— Dc 


the winning of German positions of great strength. On the 
north of the main attack the British captured Beaucamp, and 
drove the enemy from the ridge toward Marcoing. Arleux- 
en-Gohelle on the extreme left was occupied, and in operations 
north and south of the Sensee and Scarpe Rivers the towns of 
Sauchy-Lestrees and Sauchy-Cauchy were captured. 

The troops of General Haldane on the right center carried 
out a successful operation, breaking through the German de- 
fenses east of Havrincourt, capturing Flesquieres and a long 
spur running eastward from that village toward Marcoing. In 
the direction of Fontaine Notre Dame the British in this region 
had pushed forward to within three miles of Cambrai. In the 
course of these operations over 6,000 prisoners were captured. 
The Germans had engaged on this battle front nine divisions, 
or about 122,000 men. 

The British were now in a good position to capture Cambrai. 
Even at this stage of the struggle the Germans could not use 
the town, for the roads, railway, and junction were all under 
the fire of the British guns. 

French troops on the battle line east of Rheims continued 
their advance on September 27, 1918. In the two days' fighting 
on this front they took over 10,000 prisoners, enormous quan- 
tities of war material, and had moved their line ahead at some 
points a distance of five miles. 

On the first day of the battle Gouraud's men recaptured all 
the positions abandoned July 15, 1918, and then stormed the 
Hindenburg line on a length of nineteen miles. They were 
now on the front of the second Hindenburg line along the Py 
River, marking the successful termination of the first phase 
of the attack which the French continued to press with irre- 
sistible valor despite the frantic efforts of the enemy to check 
their advance. 







THE Allies continued to strike on every front on September 
27-28, 1918. Between the sea and St. Quentin, Champagne, 
and Verdun the whole German military machine was tottering 
and nearing the breaking point. 

Belgian and British troops attacking on a front of about ten 
miles between Dixmude to a point north of Ypres made an 
advance of three and a half miles, the Belgians alone capturing 
over 4,000 prisoners. The occupied territory included the first 
and the second line of the German defenses. 

Field Marshal Haig's troops operating in the Cambrai region 
continued their advance on the town whose fall was imminent. 
With the capture of Sailly the British were now within two 
miles of Cambrai, and still forging forward. To the northwest 
a number of villages including Epinoy and Oisy-le- Verger were 
occupied and to the north of the Sensee Canal the village of 

During the night of September 27, 1918, the Germans made 
a desperate counterattack southwest of Marcoing, and near 
Beaucamp, but they were thrown back with heavy losses and 
the British pressed on two miles beyond Beaucamp Ridge, where 
they occupied high ground known as the Highland and Welsh 

Between the Ailette and the Aisne General Mangin's troops 
continued their irresistible advance, penetrating the ravine be- 
tween Jouy and Aizy and capturing these villages. The principal 
victory of the day was the winning of Fort Malmaison, one of 
the strongholds southeast of Laon. Here the Germans had 
prepared a deadly trap for the French troops, but owing to the 
precautions taken the explosion did no damage. 


In the Champagne General Gouraud's forces continued to 
operate with the accuracy of a finely adjusted piece of mechan- 
ism. At Somme-Py, where the German defensive works were 
of the most elaborate description and included a system of 
trenches and underground works to an extent of five miles, after 
hot fighting in the streets with grenade and bayonet the French 
took the entire system and advanced their line to the north of 
the town. 

There was no harder struggle on any Allied front at this time 
than the French were engaged in north of Grateuil and Fontaine- 
en-Dormois. The Germans in this region displayed intense 
energy in the defense of the valleys, bringing up reserves and 
employing countless machine guns in their determination to stem 
the tide of the French advance which was constantly hurling 
them backward. Again and again the Germans counterattacked, 
only to be crushed by Gouraud's troops, who immediately pro- 
ceeded to press onward. The German infantry fought well at 
times, but there was something lacking ; they displayed nervous- 
ness and had no staying powers. And their gunners too showed 
that their nerves were shaken, wasting ammunition without 
reason and laying down barrages where they could serve no 
possible purpose. 

September 29, 1918, was a big day for the British and Ameri- 
can troops when Field Marshal Haig launched a new offensive 
movement on the thirty-mile front from St. Quentin to the 
Sensee River. The Americans attacking* the Hindenburg 
line on a front of nearly three miles captured Bellicourt and 

On the extreme British right the Twentieth Corps struck 
across the Scheldt Canal from Bellenglise northward. The 
Forty-sixth Midland Division, equipped with mats, life belts, 
rafts, and bridging material, stormed the main Hindenburg de- 
fenses running along the eastern bank of the canal. In spite 
of the depth of the water, and the width of the canal, and the 
strong German defenses, consisting of numerous tunnels and 
concrete works, this division captured the entire enemy position 
opposed to them. After th^'s master stroke the division with 


great bravery drove ahead up the slopes beyond the canal, cap- 
turing many prisoners on the way. Bellenglise, Lehaucourt, 
and Magny-la-Fosse were now in British hands. 

In the center of the attack English troops captured Villers- 
Guislain while New Zealand troops broke up a hostile attack, 
and pressing on took La Vacquerie and high ground in the 

Meanwhile the Sixty-ninth Division, having forced the cross-* 
ing of the Scheldt at several points, continued to advance. 
After stiff fighting in the western outskirts of Masnieres 
and Les Rues Vertes they took both of these villages and 
carried the defensive system covering Rumilly, driving on to 
the western outskirts of the village. North of the Bapaume- 
Cambrai road Canadian troops gained possession of the defense 
system known as the Marcoing-Masnieres line as far north 
as Sailly. 

On the French front as the result of General Mangin's ad- 
vance on this date the entire Malmaison Plateau and the western 
end of the Chemin-des-Dames were won. For weeks the Ger- 
mans had been fighting to hold the approaches to the massif 
of St. Gobain and Laon which they were now forced to abandon. 
For four years this group of heights formed the central pillar 
of the German line in France. Marshal Foch's strategy forced 
the enemy, as on the Marne, to withdraw his center before the 
Allied attack to the north and the east and compelled him to 
move back on the wings. This retreat was one of the first direct 
results of the French, American, and British offensive of the 
past three days. 

On the last day of September, 1918, the British continued to 
drive forward into the outskirts of Cambrai, capturing the 
suburbs on three sides of the city. Toward St. Quentin the vil- 
lages of Thorigny and Le Tronquoy to the north and east of 
that town were won. In the course of the fighting north of St. 
Quentin the British captured over 4,000 prisoners and forty 

In Flandere the Belgian and British advance was pushed to 
an average depth of five and a maximum depth of eight miles. 


The British had won the famous Messines Ridge and Cheluwe, 
while the Belgians had advanced beyond Dixmude and taken 

Fighting of the fiercest description continued throughout 
October 1, 1918, all along the Cambrai-St. Quentin front, the 
British winning positions on the greater part of the line. The 
Germans, anticipating the speedy capture of Cambrai, had fired 
the city at different points. The British, continuing to close in, 
stormed in the night Proville to the west and Tilloy on the north. 
Farther south toward St. Quentin they captured the villages 
of Vendhuile and Lavergies. To the north of Cambrai they made 
notable progress in spite of the presence in the enemy fighting 
line of fresh German reserves thrown in between the city and 
the Sensee River. 

During the month of September, 1918, the British had cap- 
tured on the western front 66,000 prisoners and 700 guns. In 
four days' fighting up to October 1, 1918, General Haig's troops 
had engaged and defeated thirty-six German divisions, or ap- 
proximately 432,000 men. 

French troops entered St. Quentin in the afternoon of October 
1, 1918. Heavy fighting continued along the whole Franco- 
American front from St. Quentin to the Meuse. The British 
on the north and the French on the south drew an arc around 
St. Quentin well to the rear of the city. Toward the Aisne the 
French had pushed on beyond Revillon. In the center the Ger- 
mans continued to cling stubbornly to the wooded height of St. 
Thierry, where they had established a line of positions stretch- 
ing from Cormicy to the Vesle, flanking Rheims on the north- 
west and enabling them to maintain their hold on a semicircle 
of strong points around Rheims. 

Cambrai having been mined by the Germans, the occupation 
of the city was delayed by the British, but their patrols pene- 
trated the burning city. Canadian troops held the suburbs of 
Neuville St. Remy on the north and Crevecceur and Rumilly on 
the south. 

The rapid advance of the Allies in Belgium on the north and 
the British thrust past Cambrai on the south forced the Ger- 


mans to begin a retreat on a wide front on both sides of the La 
Bassee Canal. 

In the night of October 1-2, 1918, General Berthelot's forces 
on the French front completed their conquest of the St. Thierry 
Massif, the important height west of Rheims, occupying Pouillon 
and the fort of St. Thierry. 

These great gains enabled the French to dominate the plain 
from the east and threaten all the German positions along the 
Aisne-Marne Canal from Bethany to the north, including the 
fort of Brimont, where the guns were posted that wrought 
most of the destruction to Rheims. General Gouraud and 
Berthelot by their advances threatened to make of the Rheims 
salient another pocket from which the Germans would have 
great difficulty in extricating themselves. 

In the Champagne desperate efforts were made by the enemy 
to hold back Gouraud's forces on the line of Monthers-Orfeuil- 
Liry. Steep cliffs and deep ravines furnished the Germans with 
excellent positions for defense, but the French crushed every 
counterattack and drove ahead. South of Orfeuil and Liry 
General Gouraud broke through heavy wire defenses, and won 
a powerful position by assault. 

East of Liry in the wooded valley of the Aisne there was 
hard fighting which ended in the occupation of the most dm^ 
portant positions by General Gouraud^s men. Farther easC 
where the Germans had flooded the region of Challerange the 
French displayed the same intrepidity as at other points on 
the battle front, gaining ground and occupying the railroad at 

On October 3, 1918, Field Marshal Haig's forces shattered 
vital German defenses between St. Quentin and Cambrai. %t' 
tacking with infantry and tanks on the eight-mile front from 
Sequehart to the Scheldt Canal the British broke through the 
strong Beaurevoir-Fonsomme line west and southwest of Beau- 

On the left of the attack English and Irish troops forced the 
passage of the Scheldt Canal at Gouy and Le Catelet and cap- 
tured both villages. At the farthest point of this advance the 


British penetrated German positions to a depth of about five 
miles. Over 5,000 prisoners were taken by the British during 
the drive. 

In Flanders the Germans were in retreat on the twenty-mile 
front between Armentieres and Lens, which the British now 
occupied. Between these strongholds the British had advanced 
their line three miles eastward through Avion, Vendin, Wieres, 
and Herlies. 

St. Quentin was completely cleared of German troops by Octo- 
ber 2, 1918. Not one of its original 56,000 inhabitants re- 
mained. All were carried away by the Germans. As it was 
believed the enemy had mined the town with time fuses the 
French did not occupy the town, but remained outside waiting 
for developments. 

From St. Quentin to the Argonne the French armies con- 
tinued to gain ground all along the line. They were closing 
the only avenue of escape for the Germans on the west side 
of the Argonne Forest, and clearing the region north and west 
of Rheims. 

General Gouraud on the eastern side of the line by the occupa- 
tion of the important railway town of Challerange now con- 
trolled the western exit from the Grand Pre Gap through the 
forest. Southeast of Orfeuil the French held a wooded area, 
their guns dominating the only railway which was available to 
the Germans north of that position. The French also enlarged 
their gains north of Somme-Py in the Champagne, capturing 
Mont Blanc with the Americans and the Medeah Farm. 

Around Rheims the Germans had been forced back so far 
that the city must soon be freed from the menace of bombard- 
ment. Cormicy, northwest of the city, was captured by the 
French and Loivre to the north, while the Aisne Canal was 
reached between Concevreux and La Neuvillette. 

Debeney's indomitable troops north and east of St. Quentin 
continued to drive forward. He broke the Hindenburg line 
from Le Tronquoy to Lesdins and gained a hold on the railway 
east of St. Quentin. Progress was also made at Neuville St. 
Armand and Itancourt. Continuing their pressure on the Ger- 


mans seeking to repair the gap torn in the Hindenburg defenses 
northeast of St. Quentin, British troops on October 4-5, 1918, 
pushed on toward Fresnoy-le-Grand in the face of determined 
and powerful enemy counterattacks. 

The Germans continued to retreat on the Lens-Armentieres 
front. The British lines were advanced over two miles to 
Erquinghem and Wavrin west and southwest of Lille. 

In the Champagne the entire enemy front was crumbling be- 
fore the hammer blows of the French army under Berthelot and 
the Franco-American legions under Gouraud. North of Rheims 
the capture of Fort Brimont and strong mountain positions to 
the east gave the French enormous advantage over the enemy, 
of which they were not slow to avail themselves. The entire 
massif of Moronvilliers was conquered; by the afternoon of 
October 5, 1918, the French had reached Bethenville, three miles 
to the north. In the course of the advance the Germans were 
forced to evacuate many positions which they had held since 

Threatened by the British thrust toward Lille the enemy 
began the evacuation of the city. Farther south, in the crucial 
area north of St. Quentin, British forces again broke through 
the Hindenburg system of defenses. They crossed the Scheldt 
Canal on the eight-mile front between Crevecoeur and Le Cate- 
let and won a section of the famous line on the plateau of La 
Terriere in this sector, the Germans hurriedly retiring from 
the high ground east of the canal. 

French victories in the Champagne continued with clockwork 
regularity every day, and it might be said with truth every few 
hours of the day. German resistance was broken on a front of 
about twenty-eight miles in the Rheims salient, where as the 
result of pressure east and west the enemy was compelled to 
surrender his strongest positions. 

The French continued in pursuit through the night of October 
5-6, 1918, the whole front along the river Suippe. Other French 
troops having crossed the Aisne Canal had advanced to the 
outskirts of Aiguilcourt and pressing on north of Rheims cap- 
tured a number of villages to the northeast of the city, reaching 


the Suippe River at Pont Faverger, which was conquered and 

In the fighting on the British front on October 6, 1918, the 
village of Fresnoy, ten miles west of Douai, was won. Between 
Cambrai and St. Quentin after the capture of Abencheul-au- 
Bois the British established themselves in strong positions on 
the high ground toward Lesdain. Montbregain and Beaurevoir, 
villages to the northeast of St. Quentin which had changed hands 
several times in the recent fighting, were won by the British 
at a late hour in the day. 

During the night Marshal Haig's troops established a pos*^ 
at the crossing of the Scheldt Canal, five miles northwest of 
Cambrai, and advanced their lines south on the west and south« 
west. By the advance north of Wez Maquart the British were 
now within about five miles west of the city. 

At times during the British pursuit the enemy's rear guards 
attempted to make a stand, but in every instance they were 
annihilated. The Germans seemed to have become panic- 
stricken, for, while they could maintain a stubborn defense, there 
was no method in their fighting; it was the desperate struggle 
of men who know they are playing a losing game. 

The continued French pressure in the Champagne yielded daily 
results. On October 7, 1918, Berry-au-Bac at the junction of 
the river Aisne and the Aisne Canal on the left wing of the 
offensive was captured. On the rest of the Champagne front 
the French held their gains, and pushed on to the north and east 
of the Arnes River. 

Early in the morning of October 8, 1918, British and American 
troops with the French cooperating on the right launched an 
attack on a twenty-mile front from Cambrai southward, shatter- 
ing the remains of the Hindenburg system to a large extent, 
and advancing along the whole fighting line a distance of three 

The British artillery fire, which began to shell the enemy 
through the night and in the morning, was of the most unpre- 
cedented violence, the guns being massed wheel to wheel. Such 
a destructive fire was poured into the enemy lines that when the 


attack was made the Germans were generally too panic-stricken 
to fight with either courage or method. 

Americans on the British front were concerned at this time 
in the brilliant operations northeast of St. Quentin, 

South of the American fighting line the French, starting 
from Rouvroy, captured the hills to the eastward and the villages 
of Essigny and Fontaine. South of Cambrai, where the Ger- 
mans counterattacked heavily with reserves, they made tem- 
porary gains of ground from which they were afterward driven 
out. Large numbers of German gunners who attempted to 
check the Allied onslaught were killed. 

On the following day the Allies struck again on a front of more 
than thirty miles from north of Cambrai to the south of St. 
Quentin and completed the breaking through of the entire 
Hindenburg defensive system from Arras to St. Quentin. The 
German retreat now became almost a rout, involving thirty 

At 4 o'clock in the morning with only the light of the stars 
and flares to guide them Canadian and English troops pressing 
forward from the north and south joined up in the chief square 
of Cambrai. The Germans were in retreat behind their rear 
guards, and the whole city was in Allied hands, but the enemy 
had mined it, and there were constant explosions that reduced 
many fine buildings to ruins. It was a great day for the Allies, 
and especially for the British, for in exactly two months they 
had fought their way back to their old front lines and were now 
far into the country beyond, which they had never penetrated 
before. Cambrai, a prize, was won, and the Germans, defeated 
and broken, were scuttling away with all the speed they could 

During October 8-9, 1918, the battle in Champagne continued 
with increasing violence from the Aisne in the region of Vaux- 
le-Mouron, which the French captured, to the Suippe River at 
Bazancourt, which was also won. North of St. Etienne on the 
Arnes River the Germans made powerful attacks on the posi- 
tions won by General Gouraud's men, but were unable to regain 
a foot of ground, while their casualties were enormous. The 


determined fighting here and on the Suippe River by the Ger- 
mans was evidently for the purpose of gaining time for a wide 
retreat. For the persistence and vigor of the Allied pressure 
had evidently disarranged all their plans, as up to this time they 
had been unable to prepare a stable position to which theii 
shattered formations could retire in security. 

In the Cambrai-St. Quentin sector the Anglo-American forces 
continued to advance during October 9-10, 1918, the greatest 
progress being made east and southeast of Cambrai, where 
Marshal Haig had pushed his lines to the banks of the Selle 
River, capturing the important German base of Le Gateau. 
This marked an advance of about ten miles east and fifteen miles 
southeast of Cambrai in the face of determined resistance by 
the enemy's rear guards. During this forward sweep many 
French civilians were found in the captured villages, 2,500 being 
liberated in Caudry alone. 

Farther to the north several villages southeast of Lens were 
occupied. The French, on the south of the British and Ameri- 
cans, continued to carry out dashing attacks and wrested from 
the enemy a number of villages northeast of St. Quentin. North 
of the Aisne they gained possession of the Croix-sans-Tete 
plateau. In Champagne Liry was occupied. 

The Germans began on October 10-11, 1918, the withdrawal 
from their strong positions north of the Sensee River before 
the far-reaching advance of the British south of that stream. 
North of the Scarpe the British pressed on in the direction of 
Douai, which the Germans were preparing to abandon. From 
every front came the same story of German retirement, though 
here and there they continued to hold on to a strong position 
to hinder the advance of the Allies and secure the safety of 
their fleeing forces. On the whole front from the Soissons- 
Laon road to Grand Pre north of the Argonne Forest their hosts 
were on the backward move. In Champagne, where General 
Gouraud's army captured Machault after a four-mile advance, 
they were retreating toward Vouziers, and under pressure of 
the converging attack west and south of the Chemin-des-Dames 
were gradually forced off of that famous height, relinquishing 


some of their strongest positions. In the Laon area the Ger- 
mans were facing the utmost difficulties, where the Hunding 
^im. between the rivers Serre and Sissonne had been turned by 
4:he French. 

In the night of October 11, 1918, French advance guards occu- 
pied Vouziers, which the Germans had burned and looted before 
retiring. The highroad running west from Vouziers to Pauvres 
was now entirely in French hands, and German resistance 
seemed weakening through this sector. West of Pauvres the 
French held the slopes above the marshy wooded valley of the 

On the left. General Berthelot's army captured the dominating 
height of Csesar's Camp and advanced beyond Mauchamp Farm 
to the north. Still more important progress was made in the 
loop of the Aisne River, where French cavalry aided by armored 
cars took Asfeld-La-Ville, thus creating a new salient between 
them and the advance to the westward which occupied the greater 
t>art of the Chemin-des-Dames. 

General Mangin's troops meanwhile were encountering strong 
opposition as they forced their way forward into the wooded 
heights that constituted the outer bastion of the St. Gobain 
Forest. This operation, taken in conjunction with the advance 
of Generals Debeney and Gouraud on the flanks, rendered the 
position of the German forces holding the Laon salient increas- 
ingly dangerous. 

On October 12, 1918, General Mangin seized the greater part 
of the St. Gobain Massif. La Fere, the outpost to the north on 
the Oise, was also won. Laon, the last of the, great natural ob- 
stacles forming the keystone of the German defenses in France, 
yielded without a fight. 

The British had now invested Douai, and the fall of that place 
was only a question of hours. 

All these important achievements were less spectacular than 
the great battle in Flanders which began on October 14, 1918, 
and was fought by the combined Belgian, French, and British 
troops under the command of King Albert. The whole Allied 
line advanced on an irregular front of about twenty-five miles 


from the region of Courtemarck to that of Courtrai, penetrating 
enemy positions six and seven miles. 

The British Second Army under General Sir Herbert Plumer 
captured the villages of Gulleghem and Heule and advanced as 
far as the outskirts of Courtrai, having taken nearly 4,000 pris- 
oners and fifty guns. The Belgians and French bagged over 
7,000 and eighty guns. 

In French Flanders the British carried their lines forward 
in the neighborhood of Haubourdin about three miles west of 
Lille, and farther south crossed the Haute Deule Canal and 
took a number of villages northeast of Lens. 

So fast were the Germans retreating that the British, French, 
and Belgian infantry in the center of the battle front had lost 
sight of them. The victory was especially memorable because 
it was a triumph for the gallant little Belgian army, which 
with the assistance of French and British had driven the 
despoilers of their country from a large territory which the 
Germans had occupied since the first days of the war. More- 
over, they had gained in this battle such strong positions that 
the Germans must soon be forced to abandon the entire coast 
of Belgium. 

The sweeping advance of the Allied infantry, preceded by 
French cavalry which performed wonderful work in carrying 
out charges, left Lille and the mining and manufacturing dis- 
tricts of Tourcoing, Roubaix, and Tournai in a salient that was 
growing deeper every hour and which the Germans could not 
possibly hold for long. In the region of Thourout the Allies 
encountered intense opposition. The struggle was here from 
house to house and street to street, and the casualties were heavy 
on both sides. The Germans had posted machine guns in the 
windows of the dwellings and in the cellars, firing streams of 
bullets into the advancing Belgians, but were unable to force 
them back. The troops of King Albert fought with a fierce ^ 
determination to wreak revenge on the despoilers of their coun- 
try, and nothing could withstand the cold fury of their onslaught. 
To the northeast of Courtrai they stormed and captured Bavi- 
chove and on the north Andoye and Cachten. 



2 w 

H O 
O ^ 

o :^ 


The capture by the British of Linselles along the Lys placed 
the Germans in the salient in a highly precarious position as the 
Allies pressed forward, and it was inevitable that they must 
soon retire to save themselves. 

Outside Courtrai the infantry made an advance of about three 
miles. Here they were forced to crush stubborn enemy attacks, 
the Germans having received orders to hold on to the last. Very 
few of their machine gunners who tried to hold up the Allied 
advance managed to escape. 

From the Thielt positions, where the French cavalry, owing 
to the hardness of the ground and roads, were able to operate 
freely and consequently worry the Germans, the Holland border 
was less than twenty miles. It was through this gap that the 
Germans throughout the whole Belgian coast system must retire 
if they were to save themselves, provided that the Allies con- 
tinued to advance. Every yard of ground gained by the Allies 
in this area lessened the Germans' chances of escape by narrow- 
ing the gap through which they must go. 

The Allied offensive in Flanders did not spend itself for nearly 
three days, the German retreat becoming more and more dis- 
orderly so that at some points it was a veritable rout. The entire 
Belgian front from the south was in constant movement. From 
Ostend and that section of the Belgian coast the Germans fled 
precipitately. British naval forces and Belgian aviators entered 
Ostend on October 17, 1918, where they were received with 
cheers and tears of joy by the inhabitants. 

The Allied infantry made rapid progress on October 17-18, 
1918, while the Germans were hurrying eastward through the 
passage between Bruges and the Holland border. There was 
only one good road that they could take and consequently this 
was crowded with transports and by troops in flight continually 
harassed by the Belgian guns. The whole of the German army 
under General von Arnim, comprising seventeen divisions, was 
in retreat from the north to the region of Lille. King Albert 
of Belgium and Queen Elizabeth entered Ostend in the after- 
noon of October 17, 1918. 










THE Allies continued to be masters of the situation on the 
Flanders front. October 17-18, 1918, Zeebrugge, the only- 
submarine base on the coast remaining to the Germans after 
they were driven out of Ostend, and Blankenberghe, a port four 
miles to the southwest, were occupied. The French gained pos- 
session of Thielt and advanced a mile east of the town. South- 
east of Douai the British occupied a number of villages. Rou- 
baix and Tourcoing were entered in the afternoon of October 
18, 1918. Southeast of Cambrai, on the Bohain-Le Gateau front, 
where Anglo-American forces were operating, over 4,000 pris- 
oners were taken in the space of twenty-four hours. From the 
Gise River eastward to the Argonne Forest French troops made 
important advances and gained fifteen villages, many of which 
had been heavily fortified by the enemy. 

All that remained now of the important German conquests 
in France was the somewhat narrow frontier tract between 
Valenciennes and Metz. Here were two small salients around 
which there was intense fighting that continued almost without 
cessation October 17-18, 1918. 

The Americans and General Gouraud's troops on the east were 
hammering at the strong German positions on the Grand Pre 
heights, a northern extension of the Argonne Forest. Here the 
Germans had some of their best troops stationed, who held on 
with grim determination, for a break through between the Aisne 
and the Meuse would cut oflf their retreat into Luxemburg and 
force them back to the forest of the Ardennes. The other salient 
between Le Gateau and Rethel was so fraught with danger to 
the troops holding it that early in the morning of October 18, 
1918, the Germans began to abandon their positions under pres- 
sure of the advancing French troops. 

War St. 8— Ec 




On the west of the Oise General von Hutier was fighting des- 
perately to hold back the advance of General Debeney toward 
Guise. The French stormed Petit Verey and Marchavenne, and 
continuing to push on captured Mennevret in the morning of 
October 18, 1918. 

The Germans were favored by two important obstacles, the 
group of hills east of Berneville and the mass of Andigny Forest 
lying before Wassigny. They might attempt to make a stand 
on the Oise near Guise and along the Oise-Sambre Canal, but 
their forces had been so badly cut up by the French that their 
plight had become increasingly desperate. In less than a day 
they had lost more than 5,500 men and a vast amount of military 

The British army, operating in conjunction with the Belgians, 
attacked on October 20, 1918, to the north and advanced past 
Courtrai. The recovery of Ghent had now become inevitable 
if the push could be maintained. For the Allied guns were 
pounding the Germans on all sides, while their cavalry 
patrols, leading the infantry, pressed on closer and closer to 
the city. 

Meanwhile the British Third Army pushed its way eastward 
to the south of Valenciennes, endangering all the German forces 
northward to Flanders and southward to the Oise Canal behind 
which the enemy had begun to retreat before British and Ameri- 
cans. This thrust upset the German plan of trying to hold the 
line east of the Scheldt. 

The British Third Army encountered the heaviest fighting 
in carrying out this operation, for the Germans realized the 
importance of delaying here their advance. Smashing all resist- 
ance the British gained the high ground to the east of the line 
from which they were advancing in the face of a torrential hail 
of machine-gun bullets. The destructive gun nests were rapidly 
cleaned up, and the German losses were very heavy. Fighting, 
was especially bloody in the region of St. Python, where the 
enemy fought behind barricades. South of Le Gateau the British 
and Americans continued to make steady progress. American 
patrols pushing out from the Mazinghien area had now reached 


the banks of the Oiae Canal. In this region German guns were 
constantly active and all villages around were heavily shelled. 
It was necessary to remove the civilians from some of these 
towns to places of safety. The Germans entirely disregarded 
their presence. 

Every hour now France and Belgium were recovering precious 
soil and cities, and thousands of their people were being liber- 
ated from German bondage. Especially grateful to the Belgians 
was the recovery of the ancient city of Bruges which Belgians 
and British won on October 20, 1918, though German rear guards 
were in the neighborhood. War had not changed greatly the 
grand old city built in the middle ages, or injured the beauty 
of its quaint architecture. The inhabitants massed before the 
Hotel de Ville were celebrating their liberation from the Ger- 
mans' yoke. Everyone had a flag or banner — British, Belgian, 
or French — and the British troops were received with the wild- 
est enthusiasm and hailed as saviors. 

Throughout the night of October 20-21, 1918, and during the 
day the Allied troops were everywhere driving the Germans 
eastward. In Belgium they were now within three miles of 
Eecloo and along the whole forty-mile stretch between Courtrai 
and the Dutch border British, French, and Belgians were hust- 
ling the enemy backward and closing in around Ghent. In the 
center the British were on the west bank of the Scheldt, north 
of Toumai, before which the Germans were making a determined 
stand with countless machine guns. Frontally the British held 
positions near Valenciennes, and to the northwest had pene- 
trated the great Viccigne-Raismes Forest. Northwest of Lille 
they were driving on toward Le Quesnoy and fighting every 
foot of the way. 

The great battle had now entered into the second phase. The 
first was the wiping out of the Lille salient, when the Germans 
were driven out of western Belgium. This accomplished, the 
Allies on the north started a sweeping movement on October 
20-21, 1918, pivoting on a point east of Courtrai, the purpose 
of which was to clear the Germans from their front in northern 
Belgium and at the same time threaten their right flank. 


In the center of the fighting area the British were pushing 
forward toward the west bank of the Scheldt. The Germans 
took advantage of the width of the stream and its marshy bor- 
ders, where they found some protection from the Allied pressure. 
They were hiding in shallow trenches; their artillery in the 
rear, sadly depleted in numbers, afforded them very little help. 
In their hurried flight the Germans had little time in which to 
remove their artillery and vast stores of ammunition. They 
destroyed some material, but a great deal fell into the hands 
of the Allies, especially guns. These were promptly turned 
toward the east, and shells made in Germany were hurled at 
their former owners as they fled in panicky retreat. 

October 21-22, 1918, on the twenty-five-mile front from Pont- 
a-Chin northwest of Tournai to Thiant, southwest of Valenci- 
ennes, British troops engaged along the western bank of the 
Scheldt won ground at many points. South of Tournai they 
captured the villages of Hollain and Bruyelle and drove into 
the western suburbs of Valenciennes. 

In northern Belgium troops under King Albert gained the Lys 
Canal on the whole of their front and had pushed across the 
stream. The Second British Army, advancing on a front of 
about a mile between the Lys and the Scheldt under heavy artil- 
lery and machine-gun fire established a bridgehead on the river 
to the east of Pecq. 

The Third and Fourth British Armies began a new drive on 
October 23, 1918, to the south of Valenciennes, smashing through 
strong German defenses to a depth of three miles and capturing 
many important villages, several thousand prisoners and nu- 
merous guns. This attack resulted in the driving of a wedge 
into German positions at a point considered the most vital of 
the lines which the Germans were holding. The enemy fought 
courageously, the gunners holding out to the last. 

The British First Army to the north continued to harass th© 
foe by continued attacks, and gained positions well to the north- 
east of Valenciennes whose fall was imminent. The British 
were now only three miles from Le Quesnoy and still forging 
ahead toward the town. Catillon was carried early in the fight- 


ing, and later the British occupied Ors. Before retreating, the 
Germans destroyed all the bridges over the canal between these 

The heaviest fighting in this battle was in Leveque Wood, 
where the Germans had cunningly hidden machine-gun nests 
that were difficult to overcome. But the wood was cleared after 
a time and the British pressed on to the great Mormal Forest 
on the edge of which the Germans were concentrating troops 
to make a stand. 

The British continued to make gains on the following day 
south of Valenciennes, capturing several viHages and strong 
points. On the north the Germans were cleared from the 
Raismes Forest. Advances were made along the whole front 
between the Sambre Canal and the Scheldt (about seventeen 
miles), and the forward pressure continued without relaxation, 
though the Germans attempted by counterattacks to gain time. 
Since the fighting began on the previous day over 7,000 prisoners 
and 100 guns were captured by the British. 

In order to check the advance on Valenciennes the Germans 
broke down the banks and opened the sluice gates northeast 
and southwest of the city and flooded vast stretches of country. 
The British, however, continued to drive ahead, and fighting 
their way into the city from the west, there were spirited fights 
in the streets between patrols. During the night of October 23- 
24, 1918, artillery duels increased on the battle front south of 
'the city. 

The British gunners wrought fearful damage in the traffic- 
crowded roads to the rear of the German line. The advance 
of the British in the moonlight, protected by flocks of night 
bombing airplanes, offered a strange and moving dramatic 
spectacle. At Pomereuil they were held up for a time by a 
heavy concentration of machine guns. Waiting until the ad- 
vance had made progress north and south of them, they swept 
around on both sides of the gun nests. They found the German 
machine gunners occupying positions around a triangular space 
that had been cleared. The British, ignoring the invitation to 
enter the clearing, passed the gunners and captured Pomereuil 


Wood behind the triangle, and thus surrounded the enemy. Then 
they stormed and carried the position. 

Continuing their attacks upon the German lines south of 
Valenciennes, the British on October 25, 1918, advancing on a 
front of between six and seven miles, reached the Le Quesnoy- 
Valenciennes railway, capturing several villages on the way. 
Simultaneously with this operation the French armies, striking 
on the Serre and Aisne Rivers over a front of about forty miles, 
advanced their lines at all points, capturing villages and positions 
and taking over 3,000 prisoners. East of Courtrai, in the di- 
rection of the Scheldt, the British and French troops made 
further progress, wresting a number of villages and positions 
from the enemy. 

The climax of the French attack was General Guillemat's 
drive east of Laon against the Hunding position, the elaborately 
prepared line protecting the German center. Here was a quad- 
ruple trench system backed by concrete shelters, five lines of 
barbed wire each twenty feet deep, and the ground between 
planted with antitank mines, yet the indomitable French soldiers 
broke through it on a ten-mile front between St. Quentin-le- 
Petit and Herpy, and held their ground against deluges of gas 
and high-explosive shells. 

On the center of the great offensive General Hangings army 
took Mortiers, on the south bank of the Serre, and gained a 
bridgehead north of the river. 

Farther north the British continued to press forward toward 
Valenciennes, and on their right General Plumer's troops under 
command of King Albert continued to cooperate in the drive 
against the German line on the Scheldt. 

On the whole forty-mile front of the offensive which the 
French began on October 25, 1918, great gains of territory were 
made. The Germans lost Crecy-sur-Serre in the center, and 
were forced to abandon a good part of the Hunding position. 
In two days Generals Debeney and Guillemat captured more 
than 6,000 prisoners, twenty cannon, and hundreds of machine 
guns. On October 27, 1918, General Debeney had pushed on to 
the outskirts of Guise. The Germans on this date launched three 


fierce attaeks against three different points on the British front 
southeast of Valenciennes, all of which ended for them in dis- 
aster and heavy losses. 

The British forward movement south of Valenciennes slowed 
down on October 28, 1918, but the French between the Oise and 
the Serre drove the Germans back two miles at the apex of their 
attack in the region of Bois-les-Pargny. On the Aisne front 
west of Chateau Porcien they drove forward to the north of 

In Belgium the Allies* positions became daily more favorable, 
while the difficulties of the Germans increased proportionately. 
The Allies were now within five miles of Ghent, and it was only 
owing to the delay in bringing up artillery that the city had not 
already fallen. In the hope of destroying the Allies' lines of 
communication with Bruges the Germans kept Stroobrigge under 
continuous fire. Maideghem and Aldeghem were also subjected 
to incessant artillery attacks. 

The retirement of General Ludendorff, formerly chief of staff 
and really generalissimo of the German armies at this time, was 
an event of the highest importance. As the persistent advocate 
of war to the bitter end, and which he had never failed to assert 
would result in the defeat of Germany's enemies, his throwing 
up the sponge at a time of crisis in his country's destiny could 
only mean one of two things : he had all the effective power of 
the empire against him, or he foresaw the triumph of the Allies 
and was eager to seek cover before the German armies were 
forced to surrender. 

On the last day of the month the Allies wrested from the 
Germans a big slice of territory in Belgium between Dejmze 
on the north and Avelghem on the south on a battle front of 
about fifteen miles. The attack in which Belgian, French, 
British, and American troops were engaged, was launched before 
6 o'clock in the morning, and by noon the British had broken 
their way through to a depth of 400 yards while on their left 
their allies were encountering strong opposition, but winning 
high ground between the Lys and Scheldt Rivers. Many towns 
and hamlets were liberated during this drive, including Pergwyk, 


Tierghein, Anseghem and Winterkcn. The front of this attack 
was about twelve miles, and Gennan positions were penetrated 
to a depth of three and four miles. 

The ADies resumed the offensive on this battle front on the 
following day and won an advance of more than five miles, 
which brought them to the Scheldt from Berchem to Gavere, 
ten miles south of Ghent. South of Valenciennes an advance of 
two miles resulted in the capture of Alnoy and Preseau. This 
forward drive carried the British to the southern edge of the 
flooded territory around Valenciennes. They captured during 
the advance between 3,000 and 4,000 prisoners. 

The city of Valenciennes which the Germans had held so 
long and so tenaciously was captured by the British in the morn- 
ing of November 2, 1918. The Canadian troops under General 
Currie encountered strong resistance from the enemy in the out- 
skirts, and after a hard struggle crushed all resistance and 
entered the city. Other British contingents pressing on beyond 
Valenciennes occupied St. Saulve to the northeast on the road 
to Mons. West of Landrecies in the Mormal Forest region the 
British advanced their lines and took a number of prisoners. 

The Germans by opening the Scheldt sluice gates had flooded 
the northern side of the city, and their only way of escape was 
to the southeast, where they had concentrated all their available 
forces. These fought with stubborn energy, but they failed to 
more than delay for a time the advance of the Canadians and 
English, who were supported by an immense concentration of 
artillery. The enemy's counterattacks were made with the help 
of tanks, but they all broke down, and the British captured the 
tanks and thousands of prisoners. Valenciennes, though in Brit- 
ish hands on November 2, 1918, was still an uncomfortable place 
for the inhabitants, who were in a confused state of mind twixt 
joy and fear. There was joy that they had been liberated and 
fear because of the shells that were falling around them and 
passing over the houses. The way from Douai to Valenciennes 
was a scene of ruin and desolation as the British and Canadians 
had fought their way through the villages along these roads, 
and most of the houses were smashed by German shells. 


An interesting souvenir left by the Germans in Valenciennes 
was a poster on the walls which the inhabitants of the city could 
now afford to laugh at. This was an order for the mobilization 
of all the men between the ages of 15 and 35, who must present 
themselves to the German commandant in order to be evacuated 
through the German lines. In case any disregarded this order 
severe penalties were to be exacted. This order was dated 
October 31, 1918, and the day of mobilization was to take place 
on November 1, 1918, the day before the British entered the 
city. Twenty thousand people were expelled by force on October 
3, 1918, and driven in the direction of Mons. Only about 5,000 
remained in the city and these were employed by the Germans 
in city work, such as maintaining the fire and water supplies, 
cleaning the streets, washing, and in various menial offices. 
Among those in the city when the British took possession were 
many who after the expulsion on October 3, 1918, were too 
feeble to continue the march and had dropped out, encum- 
bering the German line of retreat. There were others who had 
escaped from their German captors, and also a number of 
young men who had hidden themselves and lived in cellars 
for days. 

During the last week of the German occupation only one regi- 
ment was allowed in the city and this was chiefly to pillage, as 
the troops defending the place were holding positions outside. 
Many houses were looted, especially on the night before the 
British stormed the outskirts. 

The German officers were especially eager for souvenirs which 
took the form of valuable paintings cut from the frames, and 
which they found in houses of the better class. The German 
Government had been hard, and there were fines for the slightest 
infraction of rules, which increased in severity as the enemy 
needed money. Trivial offenses at first were punished by a 
hundred marks fine, but in the last days of German occupation 
it was raised to two thousand marks. 

While the British were driving forward on the Valenciennes 
front the American army was winning laurels north of Verdun, 
where they smashed the Freya Line and put the Germans to 


rcut. The advance on this difficult front was intended to cut 
the German line of communications. This was achieved. 

On the left of the Americans the French Fourth Army was 
in hot pursuit of the Germans who were fieeing across the 
Argonne Forest. The French smashed the enemy's rear guards, 
who attempted to delay the advance, and made important prog- 
ress along the whole line of attack. On the left Semuy was 
taken and the French lines were carried as far as the southern 
bank of the Ardennes Canal. To the south Bois Vandy and the 
village of Balay were cleared of Germans, who fought desper- 
ately but were unable to delay for more than a few hours the 
irresistible advance of the French troops. On the right Longwe 
and Primat were occupied. North of the last-named place the 
French pushed on past Chene Pat^ and despite that formidable 
obstacle, the Argonne Forest, continued to pursue the Germans, 
whose retreat was so hurried that they left large quantities of 
material on the field which they had not found time to destroy. 
In the course of this advance the French captured over 1,400 

South and east of Valenciennes, where the Germans had es- 
tablished positions, the British on November 2-3, 1918, were 
fighting their way forward, driving back the enemy rear guards 
and taking prisoners. 

Field Marshal Haig's troops won another notable victory on 
November 4, 1918, when attacking on a thirty-mile front between 
the Scheldt and the Oise-Sambre Canal, with the French cooper- 
ating on the right, a drive was made into enemy positions and 
over 10,000 Germans and 200 guns were captured. The British 
drive, in which troops of the First, Third, and Fourth Armies 
participated, resulted in the capture of Landrecies south of the 
Mormal Forest, Catillon, and a considerable number of smaller 
towns, and advanced the British lines more than three miles to 
the east of the Oise-Sambre Canal. North of this stream, in 
the great Mormal Forest, the British won strongly fortified 
positions and advanced to the center of the wood. 

To the south the Fifth French Army under General Debeney, 
linking up with the British, forced the passage of the canal and 


made an advance to a depth of two miles beyond it, driving the 
Germans from a number of villages of great strategic impor- 
tance. In this advance the French bagged 30,000 prisoners and 
a large number of cannon. 

King Albert's army in Belgium continued to gain victories 
and to press the German retreat. He had completed the work 
of forcing the enemy across the Temeuzen Canal, which runs 
northward from Ghent and is close to the suburbs of the city 
on twa sides. South of Ghent the west bank of the Scheldt was 
now m the hands of the Allies. 

British and French armies in Belgium continued to crush and 
overrun the German positions. In the morning of November 
5, 1918, the British forced their way through the greater part of 
the Mormal Forest, the infantry being east of a line through 
Locquignol and Les Grandes Patures. They had overcome the 
formidable defenses on the western fringe of the forest and had 
now confronting them only hastily improvised machine-gun 
posts. The French continued to drive the Germans before them 
between the Sambre Canal and the Argonne Forest, clearing 
the enemy out of wide stretches of territory and carrying their 
line forward more than six miles. The towns of Guise and 
Marie were captured during this advance and 4,000 Germans 
and 60 guns. 

On November 6, 1918, a German delegation left Berlin for 
the western front to conclude an armistice with Marshal Foch, 
representing the Allied armies. The negotiations led to a cessa- 
tion of hostilities on November 11, 1918. 

The victorious sweep of the Allies continued undiminished 
from the Scheldt to the Meuse, where the Germans were being 
driven back along the whole front. On November 6, 1918, the 
British, advancing east of the Mormal Forest, occupied a num- 
ber of villages and the important railway junction at Aulnoye. 
The French armies made a bound of from five to seven miles 
along the whole front. Vervins, Rethel, and Montcornet, all 
important places, were occupied and the advance continued. 

Crossing the Belgian border north and east of Hirson, French 
cavalry occupied a number of villages and the important fortress 


of Hirson, advancing their line nine miles at some points. Along 
the entire thirty-mile front from the junction of the French 
and British armies to the Meuse east of Mezieres, now strongly 
invested, the French pushed on with irresistible ardor. The 
water barriers of the Thon and the Aure were forced, and the 
plateaus to the north occupied. On the British front the same 
story of victory was repeated. Field Marshal Haig's troops com- 
pleted the capture of Toumai, and Antoing, to the south of that 
Belgian city, was occupied. On November 9, 1918, the British had 
driven forward to the outskirts of Renaix, twelve miles northeast 
of Toumai. The Second and Fifth Armies meanwhile had gained 
the east bank of the Scheldt throughout their entire front. 
These operations took place north of the Mons-Conde Canal, 
along the line of which the British were advancing on Mons. 
South of the Belgian frontier they took the important town of 
Maubeuge, and pressed on toward the Belgian frontier on both 
sides of the Sambre, meeting with only feeble resistance from 
the disorganized enemy. 

The remaining inhabitants of Tournai, which the British en- 
tered on November 8, 1918, received their liberators with wild 
demonstrations of joy such as only a people were capable of who 
had lived for years under the tyrannic rule of the Germans. For 
three weeks before the British captured the town the inhabitants 
had been living in cellars in hourly fear that the furious gun- 
fire would smash the buildings above their heads and that they 
would be buried in the ruins. There was also the dread that 
asphyxiating gas would creep into their hiding places and de- 
stroy them with its fumes. A month before British occu- 
pation the Germans had carried away all the able-bodied men 
in the place, numbering more than 10,000, leaving their women- 
folk to weep for them. For a w^k previous to the British entry 
Tournai was under bombardment day and night. Then forty- 
eight hours before the Germans were driven out more terrible 
sounds were heard by the frightened people hiding in the cellars, 
explosions that shook every building as by an earthquake. The 
Germans were blowing up the bridges over the Scheldt Canal, 
iand their retreat from Toumai had begun. 


Though German delegates were on their way to the French 
front to arrange for an armistice, the Allies continued to fight 
and advance with the same irresistible ardor as if there had been 
no question of a cessation of hostilities. In southern Belgium 
the British continued to carry their lines forward, reaching on 
November 10, 1918, the Franco-Belgian frontier south of the 
Sambre. North of the Mons-Conde Canal they pressed on be- 
yond the Scheldt, capturing Leuze, while British cavalry ad- 
vanced to Ath, which lies sixteen miles east of Tournai. 

Farther to the north the British captured Renaix and carried 
their line to a point four miles to the east of that place. 

While the British were sweeping on in southern Belgium the 
French were engaged in repulsing strong attacks launched 
against them as they crossed the Meuse. Numerous villages 
along the whole line were freed from the enemy. Here, as at 
other places, the haste of the German retreat was emphasized 
by the abandonment of vast stores of war material, cannon, 
and even railroad trains, which fell into the hands of the French. 

At 2 o'clock in the afternoon of November 10, 1918, General 
Gouraud made his official entry into Sedan ; a thrilling hour for 
the French as they recalled the German triumph here in the 
war of 1870. 

Slowly, but surely, French territory occupied by the enemy 
along the Belgian frontier was diminishing in size. The 
French troops everywhere were now within a short day's march 
of the border line, and but for the congested roads encumbered 
with traffic, and by the booty which the Germans left behind, 
the liberation of French soil could have been completed in less 
than a day's advance. 

Though it was known among the troops of the Allies as well 
as by the Germans that an armistice might be declared at any 
moment, there were no changes in the attitude of the combatants. 
The Germans fought when they had to, sullenly and determinedly, 
but most of their efforts were concentrated in making all haste 
they could to reach the border. To the last they showed a savage 
spirit, and nowhere more so than at Mezieres, where throughout 
the morning of November 10, 1918, their batteries deluged the 





city with high explosives and poison gas. There 20,000 civilians 
• — ^men, women, and children — were shut in, with no hope of 
escape. Incendiary shells fired a hospital, and it was necessary 
to evacuate the wounded to the cellars near by, where the panic- 
stricken inhabitants were crouching. There was some protec- 
tion from shells in the cellars, but none against the heavy fumes 
of poison gas with which the Germans proceeded to flood the 
city. There were no gas masks and no chemicals that would 
enable the people to improvise protective head coverings. 

The British captured Mons during the night of November 
10-11, 1918, after a stiff fight outside the town. For the British 
the war ended at Mons as it had begun there. Since early 
morning their troops knew that the armistice had been signed, 
and that hostilities would cease at 11 o'clock. All the way to 
Mons British forces were on the march with bands playing, and 
nearly every man carried on his rifle a little flag of France or 

Ghent was the last Belgian town which was rescued from the 
Germans before the armistice. They held the canal in front of 
it by machine-gun fire until 2 o'clock in the morning of Novem- 
ber 11, 1918, when they made a hurried retreat. 

A dozen Belgian soldiers, led by a young lieutenant, were the 
first to enter the city, and a few minutes later the streets were 
thronged with people wild with joy, who embraced the troops 
and each other, shouting and cheering. After four years of 
oppressive German rule Ghent of historic memories was free. 

Hostilities ceased on all the battle fronts at 11 a. m. on Novem- 
ber 11, 1918. The machine guns and great cannon that had 
rattled and thundered for fifty months were silent. On the front 
lines, when the last shot was fired, the British, Americans, and 
Belgians gave free vent to their feelings of joy that the war 
was over, the victory won. The soldiers of France were less 
demonstrative and seemed unable at first to realize that the long- 
drawn agony was ended ; but though they did not express them- 
selves in wild cheering, every face was aglow with pride and 
happiness. Back of the lines, among the ruined villages, there 
were more evidences of the gladness that filled every war-weary 






heart, and while church bells rung out a joyous peal the song3 
of victory, which had cheered the poilus through the long con- 
flict, resounded again with a deeper feeling and more trium- 
phant note. 

According to the terms of the armistice the Germans yielded 
over to Allied occupation *'the countries on the left bank of 
the Rhine," together with surrender to Allied control of the 
crossings of the Rhine at Mayence, Coblenz, and Cologne, in- 
cluding bridgeheads of thirty-kilometer radius on the eastern 
bank of the river and the establishment of a neutral zone on 
that bank from thirty to forty kilometers in breadth and run- 
ning from the frontier of Holland to the Swiss frontier. 

On November 17, 1918, the Allied armies of occupation began 
the march to the Rhine. The American army, consisting of 
six divisions under General Dickman, was the first to start, 
moving in a northeasterly direction on a front of fifty miles 
from Mouzon on the Meuse to beyond Fresnes. At Montmedy, 
the first important place reached by the Americans, they were 
received with wild acclamation by the inhabitants and the Stars 
and Stripes waved from the Hotel de Ville. At Longwy and 
Briey, the great industrial centers, it was the same story. Lor- 
raine and Luxemburg were crossed and Coblenz was reached 
on December 12, 1918, where headquarters of the army of occu- 
pation were established. 

On the same date the British Second and Fourth Army under 
Generals Plumer and Rawlinson began their advance to Cologne. 
In conjunction with their allies, a French army under General 
Mangin set out for Mayence, while General Petain, now a mar- 
shal of France, entered Metz. Throughout Belgium and France 
the armies of the Allies received the most enthusiastic reception 
in which there was no discordant note. It was only when they 
crossed the border and entered Germany that they met with 
veiled hostility. There were crowds and bands, but no enthu- 
siasm. But, if this was lacking, there were no aggressive mani- 
festations of hatred toward the invaders of the Fatherland. 
A sense of joy and relief that the war was over vanquished for 

the time at least every other feeling. 

War St. 8— Fc 





WITH the complete surrender of Bolshevist Russia to the 
Germans, through the notorious Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, 
there was presented to the Allies the problem of supporting those 
elem.ents in the country still disposed to resist the Teutonic 
invasion. Military intervention, by v/ay of Siberia, with the 
active assistance of the Japanese, was proposed, but met with the 
determined opposition of President Wilson, whose strong demo- 
cratic principles deterred him from interfering with the internal 
affairs of Russia under any pretext whatever. Subsequently 
he modified his views on this point, being largely influenced by 
the Czecho-Slovak movement, one of the most remarkable and 
picturesque features of the entire war. 

As already stated in previous installments of this work, the 
Czecho-Slovaks were Slavic soldiers of the Austrian armies 
who had been taken prisoners by the Russians, and who, after 
the fall of the Czar, volunteered to fight against the Central 
Powers with the Allies because of their desire to obtain inde- 
pendence for Bohemia and Slovakia, parts of the dominions of 
the Austrian empire. They took a leading part in the offensive 
which Kerensky attempted against the Teutons, and which failed 
so disastrously on account of the broken morale of the Russians. 
When the Bolsheviki seized the reins of government, the Czecho- 
slovaks refused to lay down their arms and asked that they 
might be permitted to retire from Russia by way of Vladivostok, 



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by Allies a.nd Americans 
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Battle Line 5ept.6. 19K 
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whence they hoped to be transported to France and allowed to 
take their place with the Allies on the western front. To this 
arrangement the Bolsheviki agreed, and the Czecho-Slovaks be- 
gan at once embarking on trains over the Trans-Siberian Rail- 
road. But before even the first contingents had safely reached 
Vladivostok, friction broke out between them and the Bolsheviki, 
which presently took on the aspect of an armed conflict, with 
remarkably successful results for the Czecho-Slovaks, who gained 
almost complete possession of the railroad and large areas of 

The Bolsheviki maintained that Allied intrigues had caused 
the Czecho-Slovaks to turn on them, while the Allied representa- 
tives laid the blame to German pressure applied to the Soviet 
Government. Captain Vladimir Hurban, an officer of the Czecho- 
slovak Army, who came to Washington to report to Prof. Ma- 
saryk. President of the National Council of the Czecho-Slovaks, 
supplies details which are not only of vivid interest in themselves, 
but assist in fixing the responsibility for the bloodshed which 
resulted in such advantages to the Allied cause. 

"When the Bolshevist Soviet Government signed the peace 
treaty in the beginning of March, 1918,'' says Captain Hurban, 
in his personal narrative, "our army of about 50,000 was in 
Ukrainia, near Kiev. . . . The Germans advanced against us 
in overwhelming numbers and there was danger that we would 
be surrounded. . . . The Bolshevist Red Guards had seized the 
locomotives and were fleeing east in panic. Under these cir- 
cumstances Emperor Charles sent us a special envoy with the 
promise that if we would disarm we should be amnestied and 
our land should receive autonomy. We refused to negotiate 
with the Austrian emperor. 

"As we could not hold a front, we began to retreat to the east- 
ward. . . . When we arrived at Bachmac the Germans were 
there waiting for us. There began a battle lasting four days, 
in which they were badly defeated and which enabled us to 
get our trains through. The commander of the German detach- 
ment offered us a forty-eight hour truce, which we accepted, 
for our duty was to leave Ukrainia. The truce was canceled by 


the German chief commander, Linsingen, but too late ; our trains 
had already got away. We lost altogether about 600 men in 
dead, wounded, and missing, while we buried 2,000 Germans in 
one day. 

"In this manner we escaped from Ukrainia. Our relations with 
the Bolsheviki were still good. We refrained from meddling in 
Russian internal affairs, and \we tried to come to an agreement 
with the Bolshevist Gk)vernment with respect to our departure, 
or passage through Russia. But already signs were visible that 
the Bolsheviki, either under German influence or because we 
then represented the only real power in Russia, would try to put 
obstacles in our way. It would have sufficed to order one of 
our regiments — our army was then, in March, near Moscow — 
to take Moscow, and in half a day there would have been no 
Bolshevist Government; for then we were well armed, having 
taken from the front everything we could carry, to prevent it 
from falling into the hands of the Germans. ... To prove 
indisputably our loyalty we turned over to the Bolsheviki every- 
thing, all our arms, with the exception of a few rifles (ten rifles 
to each 100 men) . The equipment we turned over to the Bolshe- 
viki, including arms, horses, automobiles, aeroplanes, etc., was 
worth more than a million rubles, and it was legally in our pos- 
session, for we took it away from the Germans, to whom it had 
been abandoned by the fleeing Bolsheviki. This transfer of 
the equipment was, of course, preceded by an agreement made 
between us and the Moscow Government by which we were 
guaranteed unmolested passage through Siberia, to which the 
Government pledged to give its unconditional support. . . . 

"Under such circumstances we began our pilgrimage east. J 
was in the first train — there were then eighty trains of us — which 
was to prepare the way. We were determined to leave Russia 
without a conflict. Notwithstanding that we kept our word, 
that we surrendered all arms except the few necessary, our 
progress was hindered, and unending negotiations had to be 
repeated in every seat of a local soviet. We were threatened 
by machine guns, cannon, but we patiently stood it all, though 
the Bolsheviki Red Guard could have been disbanded by a few 


of our volunteers. After fifty-seven days of such tiresome travel 
our first train arrived at Vladivostok, where we were enthu- 
siastically received by the Allied units stationed there. 

"When the Germans saw that we, notwithstanding all their 
intrigues, were nearing Vladivostok, they exercised a direct 
pressure on Lenine and Trotzky; for the things that were com- 
mitted by the Soviets cannot any further be explained away on 
the grounds of ignorance. The trains were stopped at different 
stations, so that they were finally stopped at a distance of fifty 
miles from each other. Provoking incidents of all kinds were the 
order of the day. The arming of the German and Magyar 
prisoners was begun on a large scale. One of the orders of 
Tchitcherin, Bolshevist foreign minister, reads: 'Dispatch all 
German and Magyar prisoners out of Siberia ; stop the Czecho- 
slovaks.' Three members of our National Council, who were 
sent to Moscow for an explanation of the stopping of our trains, 
were arrested. At the same time our trains were attacked at 
different stations by Soviet troops, formed mostly of German 
and Magyar prisoners. 

**I will recall the Irkutsk incident. Our train, with about 400 
men, armed with ten rifles and twenty hand grenades, was 
surrounded by a few thousand Red Guards, armed with machine 
guns and cannon. Their commander gave our men ten minutes 
in which to surrender their arms, or be shot. According to 
their habit, our leaders began negotiations: Suddenly there 
was heard the German command, *schiessen !' and the Red Guards 
began firing at the train. Our men jumped off the train, and in 
five minutes all the machine guns were in their possession, the 
Russian Bolsheviki disarmed, and all the Magyars and Germans 
done away with. The Siberian Government, which resides in 
Irkutsk and which, as it appeared later, ordered this attack, can 
thank only the intervention of the American and French con- 
suls that it was not destroyed by our embittered volunteers. 

"To what extreme our loyalty was carried is shown by the fact 
that, although perfidiously attacked, and although we disarmed 
the Red Guard in Irkutsk, we still began new negotiations, with 
the result that we surrendered all our arms, on the condition 


that all German and Magyar prisoners would be disarmed and 
disbanded, and that we would be allowed to proceed un- 

As narrated in a previous volume of this work, the Czecho- 
slovaks were thus compelled to engage in military operations 
against the Bolsheviki, and in doing so obtained possession of 
large areas in Siberia, including large cities, where they v/ere 
welcomed by the populations and dissolved the Soviets. On the 
other hand, however, many large units of them found them- 
selves isolated and unable to proceed on their way to Vladivo- 
stok. It was to assist them to extricate themselves from these 
positions that the United States finally agreed to dispatch a 
limited military force to Russian territory. Late in July, 1918, 
an arrangement to this effect was made with Japan. And on 
August 3, 1918, an official announcement was issued at Wash- 
ington, in part as follows : 

''In the judgment of the Government of the United States — 
a judgment arrived at after repeated and very searching con- 
sideration of the whole situation — military intervention in 
Russia would be more likely to add to the present sad confusion 
there than to cure it, and would injure Russia, rather than help 
her out of her distress. Such military intervention as has been 
most frequently proposed, even supposing it to be efficacious in 
its immediate object of delivering an attack upon Germany 
from the east, would, in its judgment, *be more likely to turn out 
to be merely a method of making use of Russia than to be a 
method of saving her. Her people, if they profited by it at all, 
would not profit by it in time to deliver them from their present 
desperate difficulties, and their substance would meantime be 
used to maintain foreign armies, not to reconstitute their own, 
or to feed their own men, women, and children. We are bending 
all our energies now to the purpose of winning on the western 
front, and it would, in the judgment of the Government of 
the United States, be most unwise to divide or dissipate our 

"As the Government of the United States sees the present 
circumstances, therefore, military action is admissible in Russia 


now only to render such protection and help as is possible to 
the Czecho-Slovaks against the armed Austrian and German 
prisoners who are attacking them, and to steady any efforts at 
self-government or self-defense in which the Russians themselves 
may be willing to accept assistance. Whether from Vladivostok 
or from Murmansk and Archangel, the only present object for 
which American troops will be employed will be to guard mili- 
tary stores which may subsequently be needed by Russian forces 
and to render such aid as may be acceptable to the Russians in 
the organization of their own self-defense. 

"With such objects in view, the Government of the United 
States is now cooperating with the Governments of France and 
Great Britain in the neighborhood of Murmansk and Archangel. 
The United States and Japan are the only powers which are just 
now in a position to act in Siberia in sufficient force to accom- 
plish even such modest objects as those that have been outlined. 
The Government of the United States has, therefore, proposed 
to the Government of Japan that each of the two governments 
send a force of a few thousand men to Vladivostok, with the 
purpose of cooperating as a single force in the occupation of 
Vladivostok and in safeguarding, as far as it may be, the country 
to the rear of the westward-moving Czecho-Slovaks, and the 
Japanese Government has consented. 

"In taking this action the Governm^ent of the United States 
wishes to announce to the people of Russia, in the most public 
and solemn manner, that it contemplates no interference with 
the political sovereignty of Russia, no intervention in her internal 
affairs — not even in the local affairs of the limited areas which 
her military force may be obliged to occupy — and no impairment 
of her territorial integrity, either now or hereafter, but that 
what we are about to do has as its single and only object the 
rendering of such aid as shall be acceptable to the Russian 
people themselves in their endeavors to regain control of their 
own affairs, their own territory, and their own destiny." 

The Japanese issued a similar declaration a few days later, 
also disclaiming any desire for territorial aggrandizement at the 
cost of Russia. 


During the first week of August, 1918, about 7,000 American 
soldiers, most of them regulars from the Philippines, were landed 
at Vladivostok, the United States Government announcing, on 
August 7, 1918, that Major General William S. Graves, former 
assistant chief of the Army General Staff, would have command 
of the American expedition. The Japanese landed a similar 
force, under General Kikuzo Otani, president of the famous 
military technical school of Toyama Gakko, and who, on account 
of his senior rank, would assume command of the entire Allied 
force. The French and British landed smaller forces each, the 
former being native troops from Tonkin and the British being 
local garrisons from India. 

Meanwhile the Czecho-Slovak Army in the interior of Russia 
continued its operations. On July 26, 1918, they reported the 
capture of Simbirsk, 600 miles east of Moscow ; on the last day 
of the month they gained possession of a large railroad bridge 
at Syzram, in the Volga region, and on the following day they 
took the city of Ekaterinburg, where the czar had been executed 
by order of the Ural regional soviet. In western Siberia they 
ordered the mobilization of the classes from 1912 to 1920, at 
Omsk. It was also reported that they were being joined by 
thousands of Rumanians and Italians who had formerly been 
soldiers in the Austrian armies and had later been taken prison- 
ers by the imperial Russian armies. By this time it was gener- 
ally recognized that the original plan of the Czecho-Slovaks, 
to withdraw from Russia by way of Vladivostok, had been 
changed to one whereby they were to remain and from the 
nucleus about which the anti-Bolshevist elements in Russia and 
the Allies might reconstruct an eastern front against the Ger- 
man forces. 

The Japanese, being the first to land at Vladivostok, were the 
first to advance into the interior, and they immediately took up 
their position along the Ussuri River, which forms the eastern 
boundary of Manchuria with Siberia. The Americans, as soon 
as they arrived, occupied the railway toward Nikolsk. 

At this time, in the middle of August, 1918, the main forces 
of the enemy, Russian Bolsheviki and German and Magyar ex- 


prisoners, were located near Chita, in Transbaikalia, numbering 
about 50,000. Others occupied positions along the Amur and 
Ussuri Rivers, north of Vladivostok. 

On August 24, 1918, the first serious fighting took place, when 
the Japanese, supported by their allies, drove the Red Guards 
fifteen miles north from the Ussuri. Here the enemy numbered 
about 8,0r0, consisting of infantry and some artillery. Four days 
later the Japanese occupied Krasnoyarsk and Blagovyeshchensk. 
On September 7, 1918, the Bolshevist naval base at Khabarovsk 
was taken by Japanese cavalry, the booty including seventeen 
gunboats, four other vessels, and 120 guns. 

One of the objects of the expedition was to establish communi- 
cations with the Czecho-Slovaks far in the interior of the coun- 
try, and this was quickly accomplished by an unexpected success 
on the part of the Allied forces. The isolated Czecho-Slovak 
army near Lake Baikal, under Colonel Gaida, had been endeavor- 
ing to advance toward Chita. General Semenov, the Russian 
anti-Bolshevist leader, with a force of Cossacks supported by 
Japanese, had been coming out of China and was also advanc- 
ing toward Chita. A delayed dispatch from the American Con- 
sul at Irkutsk, dated August 13, 1918, brought word that the 
Bolsheviki army east of Lake Baikal had been destroyed, and 
on September 4, 1918, telegraphic communication between Ir- 
kutsk and Vladivostok v/as reopened. On the same day it was 
announced that the Czecho-Slovaks and the Cossacks. and Japa' 
rese under Semenov had joined hands at Chita and that that 
main stronghold was taken. This gave the Allied forces entire 
control of the railways in Siberia as far west as Samara, on 
the Volga River, a few hundred miles from Moscow. 

During this period the anti-Bolshevist elements in Russia 
were cooperating with these efforts in their behalf. On August 
5, 1918, the Russian embassy in Washington announced the 
formation of a new government in Siberia, whose chief purpose 
was to oust the Soviets and bring Russia back in line with the 
Allies against Germany. 

"The United Siberian Government," said the statement in 
part, "states that it Vv^as e'-cted on January 26, 1916, by the 


members of a regional Siberian Duma — representative assembly. 
The point where this government has temporarily transferred 
its center is Vladivostok, the other members of it remaining 
at Omsk. A message from those at Omsk has just been received, 
stating that, owing to the combined efforts of the Czecho-Slovaks 
and the military organizations of the Siberian Government itself, 
the following cities have been liberated from the Bolsheviki: 
Mariinsk, Novo Nicolayevsk, Tomsk, Narim, Tobolsk, Barnaul, 
Semipalatinsk, Karkarlinski, Atchinsk, and Krasnoyarsk. . . . 
The Temporary Government of Siberia' adds a public state- 
ment of its political aims, which are: the creation of a Russian 
army, well disciplined, in order to reestablish, in cooperation 
with the Allies, a battle front against Germany. Siberia, being 
an inseparable part of United Russia, the Temporary Govern- 
ment of Siberia believes it to be its first duty to safeguard, in 
the territory of Siberia, the interests of the whole of Russia, 
to recognize all the international treaties and agreements of 
Russia with friendly nations which were in force until October 
25, 1917, the moment of the Bolshevist uprising. . . ." 



AS recounted in the previous installment of this work, the 
^ Allies and the United States had already, in July, 1918, 
landed troops in the Murmansk Peninsula, in northern Russia, 
primarily to ward off a German invasion through Finland, sec- 
ondly to guard those military supplies and stores which the 
imperialist Government had purchased in Great Britain and 
America, though they were still not paid for. These supplies 
were largely stored in Kola, and there was fear that the Ger- 
mans, either directly, or through pressure applied to the Soviet 
Government in Moscow, might obtain possession of them. 


The first Allied forces had been landed on July 15, 1918, and 
included some American marines. On the following day, in 
declaring the object of this act of intervention, Rear Admiral 
Kemp, of the British Navy, had announced that the Allied 
forces would advance southward **in accord with the local 
soviet authorities, and at the request of the local population 
for help." 

On August 4, 1918, another force was landed at Archangel, 
on the south shore of the White Sea, and had taken control of 
the coast northward to Murmansk. Included in this force were 
some American troops and members of the Russian Officers 
League. An anti-Bolshevist revolution had already taken place 
in Archangel, and when the Allies landed they were greeted with 
much enthusiasm by the population. 

Under the protection of the Allied forces in this region a 
Provisional Government of the Country of the North was at 
once organized, largely made up of Socialistic elements : Social 
Revolutionists and the Mensheviki, the minority party of the 
Social Democrats. The leaders were members of the Constituent 
Assembly which the Bolsheviki had dispersed in Petrograd, on 
its attempt to hold its first session. The president of the new 
republic was Nicholas Tchaikovsky, the noted Russian revolu- 
tionist of early days and colleague of "Grandmother'* Bresh- 
kovskaya. On August 7, 1918, Tchaikovsky's Government issued 
a proclamation of its purposes, in which, after denouncing the 
Bolsheviki as traitors to Russia, it was declared that the Govern- 
ment of the North Country desired to defend the country against 
German invasion, to reestablish the All-Russian Constituent 
Assembly, and to maintain law and order in the interests of all 
the people. 

"The Government," continued the manifesto, "counts on the 
Russian, American, and British peoples, as well as those of other 
nations, for aid in combating famine and relieving the financial 
situation. It recognizes that intervention by the Allies in Rus- 
sia's internal affairs is not directed against the interests of the 
people, and that the people will welcome the Allied troops who 
have come to fight against the common enemy. \ . ." 


The Allied forces landed in Archangel, in cooperation with 
tho^e already established on the Murmansk coast, and Russian 
White Guards and volunteers began to advance toward the 
south, in the direction of Vologda, with the purpose of joining 
hands with the extreme western wing of the Czecho-Slovaks, 
and thus establish a complete chain through Russia from the 
White Sea to the Pacific. On August 31, 1918, an attack was 
made on Obozerskaya, seventy-five miles south of Archangel, 
and taken. 

On September 8, 1918, Tchaikovsky's Government was over- 
thrown by elements opposed to it, though still in favor of Allied 
intervention, but four days later these counter-revolutionary 
forces were persuaded to retire from the field and permit Tchai- 
kovsky to reestablish himself. On September 11, 1918, more 
American troops were landed to augment the Allied forces, 
these Americans being men picked for their special fitness for 
standing the rigors of a northern Russian winter. In the middle 
of September, 1918, the first really serious contact with the 
enemy took place and, as admitted by Pravda, the official organ 
of the Bolsheviki in Moscow, the Soviet forces were seriously 
defeated and driven southward. Many Bolshevist officers, said 
Pravda, had deserted to the enemy. 



THE first landing of Allied soldiers, on the Murmansk Coast, 
had brought forth a strong protest from the Soviet Govern- 
ment in Moscow, and though the Allied Governments, and es- 
pecially the United States, were still inclined to hold friendly 
relations with the Bolshevist Government, these relations now be- 
gan undergoing a decided change. On July 29, 1918, Lenine, at 
a closed meeting of the executive committee of his Government, 


had declared that Russia was in a state of war with the Entente 
nations, but when the Entente diplomats sought further details 
regarding this statement, the Foreign Minister, Tchitcherin, 
replied that this was merely a private utterance on the part of 
the Bolshevist premier and had not been made in his official 
capacity ; that, at any rate, it was meant only to imply that 
Russia was defending herself against foreign invasion. At the 
time he urged the American ambassador and the other Allied 
representatives, who were then in Vologda, to return to Moscow. 
But instead of complying with this request Mr. Francis and his 
colleagues removed to Archangel, where they would be under the 
protection of the Allied forces of occupation. In a final message 
to the Russian foreign minister, Mr. Francis stated that he had 
no intention of quitting Russia, and that at any rate he would 
only be absent temporarily. The Allied consuls, he added, would 
remain. Tchitcherin, on the other hand, said that, even if they 
did depart, the absence of the Allied diplomats would not 
affect the situation, and that there was no reason why the 
consuls and citizens of the Allied nations should not remain 
in Russia. 

On August 10, 1918, the Bolshevist authorities arrested the 
British acting consul general in Moscow, together with six 
of his staff and several French diplomatic agents. The reason 
given was that the Bolshevist forces had been fired upon by the 
Allies on landing in Archangel. Great Britain immediately re- 
sponded by arresting the Bolshevist representative in London, 
M. Litvinov. A few days later the Britishers arrested in Mos- 
cow were released. Nevertheless, De Witt C. Poole, American 
consul in Moscow, fearing that he might be arrested next, de- 
stroyed his private codes, turned over the archives of the con- 
sulate to the Swedish consul, then applied for a passport to 
leave the country. 

Hitherto the Soviet Government had shown some discrimina- 
tion in favor of the United States in dealing with foreign diplo- 
mats, its members recognizing the disinterestedness of the United 
States Government and showing appreciation of President Wil- 
son's reluctance to interfere in the internal affairs of Russia. 


But after Washington's announcement of its decision to par- 
ticipate in the Siberian expedition together with Japan, this 
attitude underwent a change. After that announcement had 
been made, the Soviet Government at Moscow issued a reply 
to the Japanese and American statements (of August 3, 
1918), which was published in the **Tageblatt" of Berlin 
on August 20, 1918. The following is a translation of this 
German version: 

"The American and Japanese Governments have addressed 
a message to the Russian people in connection with the landing 
of their forces on Russian territory. Both Governments declare 
their armed intervention was dictated by the desire to come to 
the aid of the Czecho-Slovaks who, it is alleged, are menaced 
by Germans and Austrians. 

"The Russian Federal Republic feels compelled to make this 
declaration : 

" *The statement made by the American and Japanese Gov- 
ernments is not based on accurate information. The Czecho- 
slovak detachments are not menaced by either Germans or 
Austrians. On the soil of the Soviet Republic the battle continues 
between the Red Soviet Army, created by peasants and workers, 
on the one hand, and Czecho-Slovak detachments, in concert with 
landowners, the bourgeoisie, and counter-revolutionaries, on the 

" *In this battle the workmen and peasants are defending the 
revolution, which is endangered by the counter-revolution, aided 
and abetted by the Czecho-Slovaks. The Soviet Government is 
convinced that its enemies are only attempting to blind prole- 
tarian elements of the population and they seek to deceive them 
by fostering in them the belief that Germans and Austrians are 
menacing the Czecho-Slovaks. 

" 'Should, however, the grounds of this attack on the Soviet 
Republic be really those stated in the Japanese-American mes- 
sage, the Soviet Government suggests that the Governments 
exactly formulate their wishes in the matter. 



Of this and similar protests the Allied Governments took no 
notice beyond a communication which Minister Francis ad- 
dressed to Foreign Minister Tchitcherin, in which he said 
that the pro-German activities of the Soviet Government 
were the cause of the animosity shown to the Bolsheviki by 
the Allies. 

Toward the end of August, 1918, the British Government had 
released Litvinov, the Bolshevist representative in London, and 
the Soviet Government had freed the British subjects under 
arrest in Moscow, by mutual agreement; relations seemed 
about to improve. But on August 31, 1918, occurred an 
incident in Moscow which rendered the situation worse than 
ever, rousing very strong feeling against the Bolsheviki in 
Great Britain. 

On the evening of August 30, 1918, Premier Lenine, while 
returning from a public meeting at which he had been a speaker, 
was shot by a woman and severely wounded. Lenine's place 
was immediately taken by Leo Kamenev, vice president of the 
Petrograd Soviet. The would-be assassin, a girl student by 
the name of Dora Kaplan, was a member of the Social Revolu- 
tionary Party, which had long since declared war against the 
Bolsheviki, but the Soviet officials apparently believed that the 
initiative for the attempt on Lenine's life came from outside 

On the following day, August 31, 1918, a search was ordered 
of the British embassy in Petrograd. One of the Bolshevist 
commissioners was instructed to conduct the search, it being 
reported that the Socialist Revolutionists, Savinkov and Filo-. 
nenko, were hiding on the premises of the embassy. Accom- 
panied by a detachment of Red Guards, the commissioner, 
Hillier, went to the embassy and, proceeding to the first floor, 
was met by shots which killed one of his escort and wounded 
another. A fight ensued in the corridor, in which Captain Fran- 
cis Cromie, the British military attache, was killed. The police 
then entered the embassy and arrested forty persons. As soon 
as the news of the attack reached London the British Govern- 
ment sent the following protest to the Soviet Government: 


"An outrageous attack has been made on the British embassy 
in Petrograd, its contents have been sacked and destroyed, Cap- 
tain Cromie, who tried to defend it, was murdered, and his body 
barbarously mutilated. We demand immediate reparation and 
the prompt punishment of anyone responsible for or concerned 
in this abominable outrage. 

"Should the Russian Soviet Government fail to give complete 
satisfaction, or should any further acts of violence be committed 
against a British subject. His Majesty's Government will hold 
the members of the Soviet Government individually responsible 
and will make every endeavor to secure that they shall be 
treated as outlaws by the governments of all civilized nations, 
and that no place of refuge shall be left them. You have already 
been informed through M. Litvinov that His Majesty's Govern- 
ment was prepared to do everything possible to secure the 
immediate return of the official representatives of Great Britain 
and of the Russian Soviet Government io their respective coun- 
tries. A guarantee was given by His Majesty's Government that 
as soon as the British officials were allowed to pass the Russo- 
Finnish frontier, M. Litvinov and all the members of his staff 
would have permission to proceed immediately to Russia. 

"We have now learned that a decree was published on August 
29, 1918, ordering the arrest of all British and French subjects 
between the ages of eighteen and forty, and that British officials 
have been arrested on trumped-up charges of conspiring against 
the Soviet Government. 

"His Majesty's Government has therefore found it necessary 
to place M. Litvinov and the members of his staff under pre- 
ventive arrest until such time as all British representatives are 
set at liberty and allowed to proceed to the Finnish frontier, 
tree from molestation." 

The protest had its effect, in so far that the subjects of the 
Allied Governments were gradually released and allowed to 
leave Russia, and late in September, 1918, the British Govern- 
ment allowed the Bolshevist representative, held under arrest in 
London, to proceed to Russia. 




ON September 10, 1918, a consular report received in Wash- 
ington stated that the German Government had finally 
completed a plan for dividing the Baltic provinces of the former 
Russian empire into administrative districts, all to constitute 
a single military administration of the Baltic provinces, with 
headquarters in Riga. They were to be placed under the au- 
thority of the commanding officer of the town and of Von Goesler, 
the administration chief, who had been at the head of the German 
administration in Courland. The administration of the prov- 
inces included a provincial administration for Courland, with 
its seat at Mitau; an administration for Livonia, with a seat 
at Riga; and another for Esthonia, with a seat at Reval. The 
town of Riga constituted in itself a special administration dis- 
trict, placed under the authority of the captain of the town. 
Lithuania constituted the military administration of Lithuania, 
the seat being at Vilna. 

Since the defeat of the German armies the peoples of all these 
provinces have been looking anxiously toward the Allies for 
some indication of the policy to be pursued regarding dispo- 
sition of their territories. Early in November, 1918, Esthonia 
declared itself an independent republic. The Government con- 
sists of President Constantine Paets, former mayor of Reval, 
and a cabinet of eight ministers, the capital being at Reval. 
The proclamation declared that Esthonia wished to preserve 
absolute neutrality, and that the Esthonian soldiers in the Rus- 
sian Army would be recalled and demobilized. 

In the middle of October, 1918, the Lithuanians addressed to 

Prince Maximilian, German chancellor, a note demanding the 

immediate evacuation of Lithuanian territory. The National 

Assembly decided to set up a national government and to create 

an army and a police force. Plans were also announced for 

the convocation of a permanent national assembly. 

War St. 8— Gc 




THE disastrous, abortive attempt of the Austro-Hungarian 
armies, made at the behest of the German high command as 
a blind to cover the operations planned for midsummer 1918 
on the western front, has been described in detail in the last 
volume. It will be recalled that it consisted of two distinct 
phases: The Austrian offensive, begxm on June 15, 1918, and 
resulting during the week following in considerable gains along 
the Piave; and the Italian counteroffensive, setting in on June 
22, 1918, and resulting in the loss to the Austrians of all the 
newly gained ground, as well as of positions which they had 
held for quite some time. This counteroffensive had reached 
its end practically on July 6, 1918. From then on, for some 
three and one-half months. General Diaz employed his Italian 
armies, ably supported by various Allied detachments, carefully 
but continuously for the purpose of securing certain well-defined 
positions from which to land a powerful offensive move- 
ment against the Austro-Hungarians, a movement that had 
been planned months earlier by the now combined Supreme 
Command of the Allies at the head of which had been placed 
General Foch. 

How far the new pooling of all Allied military resources had 
progressed by August, 1918, is, perhaps, most typically illus- 
trated by the appearance on the Italian front of a regiment of 
United States infantry. Its reception and its review by King 

Victor Emmanuel of Italy on August 1, 1918, is graphically 



described by the London "Times" correspondent attached to 
Italian Headquarters. 

"The American infantry," he says, "that have arrived on the 
Italian front marched past King Victor Emmanuel to-day. Si- 
gnor Orlando, the prime minister, and Mr. Nelson Page, the 
American ambassador to Italy, were with the king. A cardinal- 
archbishop in his scarlet robes was a brilliant figure among the 
group of gray-clad generals and drab civilians who were waiting 
to pay their respects to the king. 

"The unusual height and bigness of frame of the individual 
man was what struck one most as the long khaki column moved 
by. These Americans are comparatively young soldiers, but their 
review discipline was thoroughly steady. Looking them over, 
one had the feeling that in the American army the individual 
as such counts for more than in most European armies. The 
highly trained amateur, brought to the climax of personal per- 
fection — that is the aim of American training, rather than the 
production of the machine-made professional soldier. 

"The Italian peasants watched the Americans with admiration 
and delight. 'What a life I have had!' said an old dame, who 
served me with coffee in a wayside inn. *I was here as a girl 
when the French and Piedmontese defeated the Austrians at 
Solferino. I remember the battle in 1866, when the Italians 
beat the Austrians again. Then in this war I have seen Italian, 
British, and French troops pass by, and at last here I am watch- 
ing the Americans.' " 

A stirring manifesto was issued to the Italian army recall- 
ing the close relations existing between the United States 
and Italy before the war and the important part Italians in 
recent years had been playing in the development of the New 

Military operations on the Italian front on August 1, 1918, 
were of minor importance and, in this respect, were quite typical 
of what was to take place during August, September, and the 
first three weeks of October, 1918. There was moderate artillery 
activity along the whole front. At Alano Italian patrols forced 
advanced Austrian posts to withdraw, inflicting losses and taking 


some prisoners. A captive balloon and six hostile aeroplanes 
were brought down. 

The Austrian activity moderated somewhat on August 2, 
1918. Italian and Allied artillery effectively bombarded Aus- 
trian lines of communication at Asiago. Along the whole front 
Italian patrols were extremely active. 

South of Nago, on August 3, 1918, an Italian assault detach- 
ment captured by a surprise attack Hill 173 on Dosso Alto, 
which the Austrians had taken on June 15, 1918. In spite of 
determined resistance four officers and 172 men were taken 
prisoners after many had been killed or wounded. During the 
preceding night French detachments in a series of brilliant sur- 
prise attacks had penetrated deeply into the Austrian lines at 
Zocchi, east of Asiago, capturing some 125 men and considerable 
material. West of Asiago British troops broke into Gaiga, mak- 
ing some prisoners. In the Tasson region and in the Alano Basin 
Italian reconnoitering patrols gathered in considerable booty 
and took some prisoners. 

Between Asiago and the Brenta Italian patrols on August 
6, 1918, effectively harassed the enemy's advanced lines, inflict- 
ing losses and capturing prisoners. 

The largest operation that the British, fighting in Italy, had 
yet carried out was put through between midnight and 4 a. m., 
August 8, 1918. It was not an attack so much as a simultaneous 
series of about a dozen raids along the whole of our front. To 
blow up dugouts, destroy machine-gun emplacements, and take 
prisoners were the objectives and in realizing them the British 
troops reached the southern fringe of Asiago town, the first 
Allied troops to touch its outskirts since 1916. 

Like a stroke of noisy magic the British barrage burst out 
in the silence of the mountain night exactly at 12 o'clock. The 
Asiago Plateau, a natural stage for warfare, five miles or so 
across, with barriers of black pine-grown hills to north and 
south, was for the next three hours ablaze with red, bursting 
shells, dazzling Verey flares of different colors, solo searchlights, 
and the dull glow of fires. One could imagine the commotion in 
the Austrian lines at that sudden interruption of the peace of 


the summer night. Hungarians, Croats, Bosniaks, tumbling 
pell-mell from their dugouts ; staff officers behind the front, two 
hours abed, rushing half-dressed to the telephones. For three 
hours, while the British were about their work, the din went on, 
until at 3 o'clock they came back, bringing at a small cost 360 
prisoners with them, and leaving many enemy dead in their 
ruined works. 

On the same day in the Giudicaris region Italian parties forced 
the Chiese River. In the Daone Valley other Italian troops 
surprised a party of the enemy on the southern slope of Dosso 
del Morti and took twenty-one prisoners. This was a period 
of raids on a large scale. For several nights Italian or Allied 
guns spread their fire over the plain of northern Italy. Following 
on the successful British invasion of the enemy's front line, the 
French during the night of August 9, 1918, took five officers and 
238 men in a surprise attack. On the Sisemol sector, and be- 
tween there and the Brenta, the Italians brought in sixty pris- 
oners from the enemy front lines. 

Again on August 10, 1918, French troops penetrated deeply 
into the enemy's strong points in Monte Sisemol, destroying 
part of the garrison and forcing the remainder to surrender. 
Two hundred and fifty prisoners and eight machine guns 
were taken. 

From their positions on Monte di Valbella, Col del Rosso, and 
Col di Chele Italian troops succeeded at various points in passing 
the enemy lines and inflicting heavy losses. They took fifty- 
nine prisoners, suffering only slight losses themselves. 

During August 10 and 11, 1918, the fighting activity along the 
whole front was very moderate. North of Col del Rosso Italian 
patrols forced back an advanced Austrian outpost. Five hostile 
aeroplanes were brought down. 

Fighting occurred during the next few days in the Tonale 
region and in the Lagarina Valley. On the Piave an Italian 
detachment crossed the western branch of the river, made a 
surprise landing on an islet west of Grave di Papadopoli and 
occupied it. Thirty-six prisoners and four machine guns were 


In the Tonale region Austrian reactions against advanced 
Italian positions were repulsed on August 15, 1918. On the 
Piave, southwest of Grave di Papadopoli, three hostile attacks 
against the Italian garrison were driven back with heavy losses. 
Four hostile aeroplanes and a captive balloon were brought down. 

There was lively activity by both artilleries during August 
16, 1918, on the Asiago Plateau, northwest of the region of Monte 
Grappa, and on the middle Piave. In the upper Zebru Valley 
one of the Italian patrols attacked an enemy advance post at an 
altitude of over 11,000 feet and drove it back. Two hostile 
aeroplanes were downed. 

On August 17, 1918, there were isolated artillery actions from 
Stalvio to Asiago, in the Grappa region, and on the lower Piave. 
After violent artillery preparation the enemy attempted, by 
strong encircling attacks, to retake the Piave Islet, captured by 
the Italians a few days earlier. After suffering heavy losses, 
abandoning machine guns and material, and leaving twenty- 
nine prisoners in Italian hands, the Austrians were forced to 

Still another Austrian attack, made the next day, August 18, 
1918, against the same position broke down under Italian fire. 
On the whole front there were artillery duels and considerable 
activity by reconnoitering patrols. 

Early in the morning of August 19, 1918, after violent artil- 
lery bombardments, numerous enemy troops attacked from west 
and from north the Italian lines on the Cornone, forming south- 
em slopes of the Sasso Rosso, on the Asiago front. The Italian 
garrison stopped the enemy after a brisk hand-to-hand struggle. 
Reenforcements quickly arrived, counterattacked the enemy, re- 
pulsed him with heavy losses, and captured prisoners. Austrian 
attempts to attack Italian advanced lines north of the Ledro Lake 
and to surprise protection patrols north of the Col del Rosso were 
hindered by Italian fire. British reconnoitering parties captured 
a few prisoners on the Asiago Plateau. Allied batteries had been 
very active from the Lagarina Valley to Astico Valley. An un- 
usual enemy artillery activity in the Asalone area provoked 
effective concentrations of fire on the part of the Italian batteries. 




These local minor engagements and artillery actions were 
typical of the fighting on the Austro-Italian front during the 
next ten days, indeed, with few exceptions one might say, almost 
during the next two months. Day by day fights between ad- 
vanced posts were reported. Thus Italian reconnoitering patrols 
captured prisoners on August 27, 1918, as they did, indeed, on 
almost every day, in the Posina Valley, in the Val di Assa, and in 
the Grappa region. An Austrian motor boat, maneuvering on 
Lake Garda in the Grentino sector, was sunk by Italian artillery. 

In the Concei Valley enemy attacks were averted on August 
28, 1918, by Italian fire. Advanced posts were driven back 
with losses. Prisoners were taken on the northern slopes of 
Altissimo, and north of Col del Rosso hostile reconnoitering 
parties were dispersed. 

On the following day, August 29, 1918, in the Brenta Valley, 
Italian infantry parties, in a successful surprise operation, cap- 
tured the village of Rivalta. Successively other detachments, 
with the cooperation of the artillery, occupied the village of 
Sasso Stefani, after having overcome in a lively fight the stub- 
born resistance of the enemy. Thirty-eight prisoners, including 
one officer, were captured. In the region to the north of Col 
del Rosso, on the Asiago Plateau, two enemy thrusts were again 
completely arrested by Italian fire. 

Italian artillery carried out concentrations in the mountain 
area on September 1, 1918. On the Piave some boats, containing 
Austrian troops attempting a surprise attack, were upset. At 
Stelvio and on the Asiago Plateau Austrian patrols were repulsed 
with heavy losses to them. 

Along the mountainous front Italian artillery on September 
6, 1918, effectively shelled the enemy's front lines and rear areas. 
In the Concalaghi, Pesina, and the Assa Valley Italian patrols 
engaged enemy exploring and drove them back. North of Mon- 
fenera an attempt to raid the advanced lines was arrested by 
the garrison, which afterward, by a counterattack, put the Aus- 
trians to flight with losses. On the lower Piave Austrian scouts 
attempting to cross the river in small boats were driven back 
by rifle fire. 


During the night following the French carried out a raid which 
was typical of the work the Allied troops accomplished on the 
plateau of Asiago. The two companies that made the attack 
had a mile and a half of no-man's-land to cross. The ground 
was most difficult — cut up into ravines, pitted with flooded shell 
holes, densely overgrown with tall grass, and littered not only 
with old trenches, ruined dugouts and tangles of torn barbed 
wire, but also with Austrian dead, who still lay there unburied 
since the big attack in June. 

It was at night and in a dense fog that the French started out. 
It took three hours for the half battalion to grope its way toward 
the Austrian line, but shortly before 5 o'clock they were ready to 
attack, and at 9 minutes to 5 a fierce French box barrage — in 
front and behind the enemy trenches and from the flanks — was 
opened on the enemy trenches, and the Italian and British artil- 
lery on either side started a distracting bombardment. At 5 
o'clock precisely the barrage lifted and the French infantry 
rushed forward to find a smashed trench in front of them, 
fuming with smoke and dust and strewn with dead and wounded 
men. Some of the stouter redoubts and machine-gun posts held 
out for a little while, but with bombs and fire boxes their garri- 
sons were smoked or blasted into silence, and then with fifty 
prisoners the two French companies came back, having to pass, 
indeed, through the Austrian barrage, but losing only a few 
men on the way. 

Austro-Hungarian patrols which attempted on September 13, 
1918, to approach the Italian lines on Monte Corno, in the Grappa 
region of the mountain front, were repulsed by the Italian fire. 

Italian infantry and ardoti parties after a short but effective 
artillery bombardment, and assisted by low-flying aeroplanes, 
m the morning of September 14, 1918, attacked and captured 
the whole of an Austrian defensive system on the Grovella, south 
of Corte. Three hundred and fifty prisoners, a number of 
machine guns, some hundreds of rifles, and much other war 
material fell into Italian hands. 

In the region north and northwest of Grappa, on the northern 
Italian front, Italian detachments in the morning of September 


15, 1918, raided the enemy lines and improved at some points 
the positions already occupied. The Italians took 321 prisoners 
and captured numerous machine guns. On the remainder of the 
front there were artillery duels and patrol activity. 

On either side of the narrow and precipitous gorge of the 
Brenta River, at the point where it leaves the Austrian lines and 
enters the Vallian, an eyewitness of some of these attacks says, 
there has existed since last winter a formidable barricade of 
wire and a complex system of enemy trenches. Wire fills the 
whole valley with an impassable tangle. It lies half under water 
in the rushing stream itself and writhes up each wall of the 
steeply sloping rock on either side. Moreover, on the ledges and 
in the caves and crannies of those high cliffs were hidden Aus- 
trian machine guns to sweep the narrow gorge below. 

Yet with a sudden attack at dawn of September 16, 1918, 
Italian infantry rushed the whole of this barrier system and 
captured nearly 350 prisoners. The fighting was severe, but 
short, in the dark ravine, and the Italians' victory was aided by 
their aeroplanes, which dived one after another into that gap 
between the high mountains, dropping bombs and emptying 
drums of machine-gun bullets upon the Austrian garrison below. 
Shortly afterward another sector close at hand, to the north of 
Mount Grappa broke into activity. A series of little raids 
and rushes were carried out there to improve the line in 
several places. At once, here too, the Italians made good their 
intentions, and took over 300 prisoners and a number of 
machine guns. 

Along the whole front there were artillery actions of a harass- 
ing nature during September 10, 1918. Italian batteries caused 
fires at Melette, in the Asiago Plateau region and blew up an 
ammunition dump near Grisolera, on the lower Piave River. 
Attempts of hostile assault parties failed in front of the Italian 
lines south of Mori, at Mont Corno, and Val Arsa, to the north 
of Grappa and east of Salettuol. 

On the other hand, Italian reconnoitering parties attacked 
and drove back in the Ledro Valley a small observation post of 
the enemy, who left dead and prisoners. Ammunition and 


various material were brought back from reconnoissances at 
Tonaleselle and on the islets in the Piave in the Montello region. 
One hostile aeroplane was brought down. West of Feeri, and 
in the valley of Jenioa, there were patrol encounters with the 
capture of some prisoners by the Italians. 

Among the Allied troops fighting with the Italians was t 
Czecho-Slovak unit. On September 21, 1918, an action occurred 
between these troops and German and Hungarian forces on the 
Trentino front. It was the first in Italy in which the Czecho- 
slovaks operated as a unit in their regular formation. The 
enemy launched the attack, prepared with greatest secrecy, east 
of Lake Gar da. It appeared from the dispatches that the Ger- 
mans and Magyars had no definite territorial objective, but 
planned the stroke in the hope of gaining support for the Aus- 
trian claim that the Czecho-Slovaks would give way voluntarily 
when faced by the army of the country that so long had held 
them in subjugation. 

It was believed in Rome and by officials of the Czecho-Slovak 
Headquarters in Washington that if the Austrians had achieved 
even a local success they would, after executing as traitors any 
Czecho-Slovaks taken prisoners, have again affirmed that the 
Czecho-Slovaks did not wish to fight against Austria. 

The assault was begun at daybreak by picked detachments 
composed exclusively of Magyars and Germans under General 
Schiesser. It followed a destructive artillery fire in which thou- 
sands of gas shells were used. The Czecho-Slovaks went over 
the top to meet the foe, and the first column was forced to retire. 
The second column, after desperate hand-to-hand fighting, suc- 
ceeded in occupying a part of the Czecho-Slovak position, but 
was driven out after a bloody battle. No prisoners were taken 
by either side. 

Premier Orlando of Italy paid homage to the valor of the 
Czecho-Slovaks by a telegram of congratulation to the Czecho- 
slovak National Council in Paris. 

For the next few weeks this continuous struggle on the part 
of the Italians to secure the positions necessary for their men 
was maintained without change. 




IN spite of the decisive and continuous defeats which the Allies 
administered to the German armies on the western front in 
midsummer 1918, the German Government maintained in its 
public utterances its usual confidence in a victorious outcome of 
the war. Apropos of the fourth anniversary of the war the 
German emperor issued one of his typical, high-sounding ad- 
dresses to the army and navy in which he said : 

"Serious years of war lie behind you. The German people, 
convinced of its just cause, resting on its hard sword, and 
trusting in God's gracious help, has, with its faithful allies, 
confronted a world of enemies. Your vigorous fighting spirit 
carried war in the first year into the enemy's country and pre- 
served the homeland from the horrors and devastations of war. 
In the second and third years of war you, by destructive blows, 
broke the strength of the enemy in the east. Meanwhile your 
comrades in the west offered a brave and victorious front to 
enormously superior forces. 

"As the fruit of these victories the fourth year of war brought 
us peace in the east. In the west the enemy was heavily hit 
by the force of your assault. The battles won in recent months 
count among the highest deeds of fame of German history. 
You are in the midst of the hardest struggle. Desperate efforts 
of the enemy will, as hitherto, be foiled by your bravery. Of 
that I am certain, and with me the entire Fatherland. 

"American armies and numerical superiority do not frighten 
us. It is spirit which brings a decision. Prussian and German 



history teaches that, as well as the course which the campaign 
has hitherto taken. 

"In comradeship with the army stands my navy. In the un- 
shakable will to victory, in the struggle with opponents who 
are often superior, and despite the united efforts of the greatest 
naval powers of the world, my submarines, sure of success, are 
tenaciously attacking and fighting the vital forces which are 
streaming across the sea to the enemy. Ever ready for battle, 
the high-sea forces in untiring work guard the road for the 
submarines to the open sea and, in union with the defenders of 
the coast, safeguard for them the sources of their strength. 

"Far from home, a small heroic band of our colonial troops 
is offering a brave resistance to a crushingly superior force. 

"We remember with reverence all who have given their lives 
for the Fatherland. Filled with care for its brothers in the 
field, the people at home is in its self-sacrificing devotion placing 
its entire strength at the service of our great cause. We must 
and we shall continue the fight until the enemy's will to destruc- 
tion is broken. We will make every sacrifice and put forth every 
effort to that end. In this spirit the army and the homeland are 
inseparably bound together. Their united stand and their un- 
bending will will bring victory in the struggle for Germany's 
right and Germany's freedom. God grant it!" 

It was not long, however, before signs appeared that this 
spirit of confidence was gradually, but surely waning. During 
the latter part of August and the early part of September, 1918, 
no opportunity was permitted to pass by the leading men of the 
German Government that they did not use to indicate to the 
Allies that German demands had been extensively pared down. 
The emperor, the crown prince. Von Hindenburg, the chan- 
cellor (Von Hertling), Dr. Solf, the foreign minister, and a 
large number of minor lights continuously expressed in their 
speeches at every possible occasion how eager they were for 
peace and how willing they were to come to an understanding. 

Early in September, 1918, it became known that General von 
Linsingen had placed the city of Berlin and the province of 
(Brandenburg in a state of siege and had announced that heavy 


penalties would be imposed on persons inventing or circulating 
untrue rumors calculated to disquiet the populace. About the 
same time a proclamation of considerable length was issued by 
Field Marshal von Hindenburg warning the German people to 
resist the "poisonous'* propaganda by which the Allies were 
attempting to undermine their morale. A few days later the 
emperor made a remarkable speech to the workers of the Krupp 
works at Essen, remarkable for its unusual moderation as well 
as for the plea it contained to support the army. Never before 
in the history of the German emperor had he addressed an 
assembly of workers in a similar tone of appeal and with a3 
little of the spirit of command. 

Momentous events now began to happen in Germany in quick 
succession. On September 29, 1918, Chancellor von Hertling, 
Vice Chancellor von Payer, and Foreign Minister von Hintze 
tendered their resignations, which the emperor accepted. They 
v/ere succeeded respectively by Prince Max of Baden, Mathias 
Erzberger, and Dr. W. S. Solf. The first of these was the heir 
presumptive to the grand ducal throne of Baden, a man about 
fifty years old and with comparatively moderate and progressive 
views. The second was a leader of the Centrist (Catholic) party 
and had frequently expressed his opposition to indemnities and 
annexations. The third, the former Colonial Secretary, also 
could be considered as a man of moderate political views. At 
the same time a number of Socialists entered the Cabinet. Dr. 
Eduard David became Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs, Herr 
Bauer, Secretary of State of the Labor Office, and Philipp 
Scheidemann, Majority Socialist leader. Secretary of State with- 
out Portfolio. 

No time was lost by the new chancellor in starting a new 
drive for a peace by negotiation. On October 4, 1918, he sent 
through the Swiss Government his famous note appealing to 
President Wilson for im^mediate institution of peace negotiations, 
based on the President's message to Congress on January 8, 
1918, and on his speech of September 27, 1918, involving the 
"Fourteen Points." This was followed by an exchange of notes 
between the German Government and the President, in which 


Mr. Wilson stated the views of the Allies with firmness. These 
notes may be considered the beginning of the end. 

The day after Prince Max had sent his first note he made a 
speech in the Reichstag which perhaps was the most moderate 
utterance made by any member of the German Government 
since the start of the war. In it he declares his agreement with 
the program of the majority parties in the Reichstag which, 
according to the "Berliner Tageblatt/^ involved: 

"(1) Adherence to the Imperial Government's reply to the 
papal note of August 1, 1917. 

"(2) Declaration of readiness to join the League of Nations 
in accordance with the following principles — namely, that the 
league shall comprise all states, and be based on the idea of 
equality for all peoples, its aim is to safeguard a lasting peace, 
independent existence and free economic development for all 
peoples; the League of Nations, with all its resources, protects 
the states which join it in the rights guaranteed to them by the 
league, which recognizes their possessions and excludes all 
special treaties opposed to the aims of the league; the founda- 
tions of the league are comprehensive, and comprise the ex- 
tension of international law, reciprocal obligation of states to 
submit to peaceful treatment every conflict which is not solvable 
by diplomatic means, the carrying out of the principle of free- 
dom of the seas, the understanding regarding all-round simul- 
taneous disarmament on land and water, the guaranteeing oi 
an open door for economic, civil, and legal intercourse between 
nations, and international extension of social legislation and 
protection for workers. 

"(3) An unequivocal declaration regarding the restoration 
of Belgium and an agreement regarding indemnification. 

"(4) The peace treaties hitherto concluded must form no 
hindrance to the general conclusion of peace. In the Baltic 
provinces of Lithuania and Poland, popular assemblies are to 
be created at the earliest possible moment on a broad basis. 
These states, where civil administration is to be introduced at 
the earliest possible moment, are to settle their own constitu- 
tions and their relations to neighboring peoples. 


** (5) Provides for the establishment of an independent federal 
state of Alsace-Lorraine, with full autonomy corresponding to 
the demand of Alsace-Lorraine for a popular assembly. 

"(6) The carrying out without delay of electoral reform in 
Prussia; likewise the endeavor to bring about such reform in 
those federal states which are still without it. 

"(7) Aims at coordination of the Imperial Government and 
the summoning of Government representatives from Parliament 
to carry out a uniform Imperial policy. The strict observance 
of all constitutional responsibility. The abolition of all military 
institutions that serve for the exercise of political influence. 

"(8) Says that with a view to the protection of personal lib- 
erty, right of meeting, and the freedom of the press, prescrip- 
tions regarding the state of siege shall immediately be amended 
and the censorship restricted to questions of relations to foreign 
governments, war, strategy, and tactics, troop movements, and 
the manufacture of war material. The establishment of a polit- 
ical control department for all measures taken on the ground 
of the state of siege is also demanded.'* 

During the next two weeks a number of constitutional reforms 
were instituted. The Prussian Diet passed an equal franchise 
law. The emperor's prerogative to make war and peace and to 
make treaties with foreign nations was abridged and required 
the consent of the Federal Council and the Reichstag. 

Day by day now the signs of internal collapse became more 
evident. On October 24, 1918, Dr. Karl Liebknecht was released 
from prison. Three days later the emperor accepted the resig- 
nation of General von Ludendorff, considered generally the head 
and leader of the militarists and junkers. On the same day a 
meeting of the Crown Council and of many dignitaries of the 
entire empire took place. Abdication of the emperor and crown 
prince became one of the principal topics of discussion, even 
though the emperor on November 3, 1918, in a manifesto ex- 
pressed his full support of all reforms. 

On November 7, 1918, the German fleet revolted. Kiel wag 
seized by the Soldiers' Council. The emperor's brother, Prince 
Henry of Prussia, was reported to have fled. On November 8, 


1918, the chancellor resigned, but his resignation was not ac- 
cepted. On the same day Bavaria was declared a republic. The 
revolution broke out in many other parts of the empire. On 
November 9, 1918, the chancellor published the following decree: 

**The kaiser and king has decided to renounce the throne. 

"The Imperial Chancellor will remain in office until the ques- 
tions connected with the abdication of the kaiser, the renouncing 
by the crown prince of the throne of the German Empire and of 
Prussia, and the setting up of a regency have been settled. 

"For the regency he intends to appoint Deputy Ebert as Im- 
perial Chancellor, and he proposes that a bill shall be brought 
in for the establishment of a law providing for the immediate 
promulgation of general suffrage and for a constitutional Ger- 
man National Assembly, which will settle finally the future 
form of government of the German nation and of those peoples 
which might be desirous of coming within the empire. 

The Imperial Chancellor." 

The new German chancellor, the Socialist Deputy Friedrich 
Ebert, announced these momentous events in the following 
manifesto, dated November 10, 1918: 

"Citizens : The ex-Chancellor, Prince Max of Baden, in agree- 
ment with all the secretaries of state, has handed over to me 
the task of liquidating his affairs as chancellor. I am on the 
point of forming a new Government in accord with the various 
parties, and will keep public opinion freely informed of the 
course of events. 

"The new Government will be a Government of the people. 
It must make every effort to secure in the quickest possible time 
peace for the German people and consolidate the liberty which 
they have won. 

"The new Government has taken charge of the administration, 
to preserve the German people from civil war and famine and 
to accomplish their legitimate claim to autonomy. The Govern- 
ment can solve this problem only if all the officials in town and 

country will help. 

War St. 8— He 


"I know it will be difficult for some to work with the new 
men who have taken charge of the empire, but I appeal to their 
love of the people. Lack of organization would in this heavy 
time mean anarchy in Germany and the surrender of the coun- 
try to tremendous misery. Therefore, help your native country 
with fearless, indefatigable work for the future, everyone at 
his post. 

**I demand everyone's support in the hard task awaiting us. 
You know how seriously the war has menaced the provisioning 
of the people, which is the first condition of the people's ex- 
istence. The political transformation should not trouble the 
people. The food supply is the first duty of all, whether in 
town or country, and they should not embarrass, but rather 
aid, the production of food supplies and their transport to the 

*Tood shortage signifies pillage and robbery, with great mis- 
ery. The poorest will suffer the most, and the industrial worker 
will be affected hardest. All who illicitly lay hands on food sup- 
plies or other supplies of prime necessity or the means of trans- 
port necessary for their distribution will be guilty in the highest 
degree toward the community. 

"I ask you immediately to leave the streets and remain orderly 
and calm." 

On the same day the emperor and the crown prince fled to 
Holland, where they were promptly interned. Not until some 
time later did the actual text of their abdications become known ; 
that of the emperor was published on November 30, 1918, and 
that of his eldest son on December 6, 1918. The former read : 

"I hereby for all the future renounce my rights to the Crown 
of Prussia and my rights to the German Imperial Crown. At 
the same time I release all officials of the German Empire and 
Prussia, as well as all the noncommissioned officers and men 
of the Navy, of the Prussian Army, and of the Federal contin- 
gents, from the oath of fealty which they have made to me as 
their Kaiser, King, and Supreme Commander. I expect of them 
that until the reorganization of the German people they will 


assist those who have been entrusted with the duty of protecting 
the nation against the threatening danger of anarchy, famine, 
and foreign rule. 

"Given under our own hand and our Imperial Seal, Ameron- 
gen, November 28, 1918. 

"(Signed) Wilhelm.*' 

One by one the kings, grand dukes, dukes, and princes of the 
various German states abdicated and, finally, the last autocratic 
monarchies of the western world had disappeared. 



JERUSALEM surrendered, it will be recalled, to General 
Allenby, commander in chief of the British Egyptian Ex- 
peditionary Force, on December 9, 1917. Two days later he 
entered, at the head of his victorious army, the Holy City, at 
last again in the hands of Christendom. From then on the 
British advance continued steadily, even if slowly, toward the 
north across the whole breadth of Palestine. Jericho fell on 
February 21, 1918. There was much fighting during March and 
April, 1918, but after that a period of comparative inactivity set 
in which was utilized by the British to repair the damages which 
war had wrought in the Holy Land and to carry through sanitary 
and administrative reforms which laid a sound foundation for 
bringing back some of the glory of past centuries. Not until 
September, 1918, did any military operations of importance 
occur. Then, however, a new British offensive set in, described 
in the following pages, which was to drive the Turks forever 
out of Palestine, Syria, and Arabia. 

Much the same story is to be told about the British operations 
in Mesopotamia, along the Tigris and Euphrates. There, it will 


be remembered, General Maude had captured Bagdad, the ancient 
capital of the Caliphs, on March 11, 1917, and had then follov/ed 
up his success by a steady advance in a northwesterly direction 
until he fell a victim to cholera on November 19, 1917. He 
had been succeeded in the command in chief of the Indian Ex- 
peditionary Force by General Marshall, who, with the same 
tenacity as his lamented predecessor and as his companion in 
arms in Palestine, continued to push the British advance during 
the balance of 1917 and the first half of 1918. The ancient city 
of Hit was captured in March, 1918, and from then on the 
Turks were driven back without let-up. 

A considerable share of the victory in Palestine was due to the 
Arabs who had rebelled against the Turk and, under the king 
of the Hedjaz, had allied themselves with the British. As early 
as February, 1918, the Arab and British fronts had been joined 
at the Dead Sea, and from then on had cooperated in the closest 
possible manner against the common enemy whom even Ger- 
man support was to avail nothing. 

During the early summer of 1918, comparative inactivity ruled 
along the Palestine front. In August, 1918, only a few minor 
operations were reported. Thus, on the morning of August 8, 
1918, an extensive bombing raid was carried out by Royal 
Air Force and Australian units against the Turkish camps and 
establishments in the vicinity of Amman railway station, on 
the Hedjaz Railway, twenty-five miles east of the Jericho bridge- 

On the same day Imperial Caftnel troops, cooperating with the 

Arab forces of the king of the Hedjaz, seized Mudawara rail- 

|Way station on the Hedjaz Railway, sixty-five miles south of 

' Maan, killing thirty-five and capturing 120 of the enemy, with 

two guns and three machine guns. 

During the night of August 12, 1918, British troops carried 
out a series of successful raids at various points on a frontage 
of ten miles astride the Jerusalem-Nablus (Shechem) road, 
killing some 200 of the enemy and capturing seventeen 
Turkish ofl[icers and 230 of other ranks, with fifteen machine 




Then again there was a month of inactivity, ominous by its 
very quietness. And, indeed, before long the storm broke. Soon 
after the middle of September, 1918, a carefully planned offen- 
sive was started by General Allenby, an offensive which was 
destined to free the Holy Land from Turkish domination. 

During the night of September 18, 1918, British troops com- 
menced a general attack on the front between the Jordan and 
the sea. To the east of the Jerusalem-Shechem road British 
and Indian troops advanced and successfully intercepted the 
Turkish road communications leading southeast from Shechem. 

Early in the morning of September 19, 1918, the main attack, 
in which French troops participated, was launched, after a 
short bombardment, between Rafat and the coast. 

The Allied infantry made rapid progress, overrunning the 
entire hostile defensive system on this frontage by 8 a. m., and 
penetrating to a maximum depth of five miles before swinging 
eastward. Tul Keram railway junction was occupied in the 
course of the afternoon, while a brigade of Australian Light 
Horse had reached the main Tul Keram-Messudieh railway and 
road in the vicinity of Anebta, cutting off large bodies of the 
retreating enemy, with guns and transport. Meantime a strong 
cavalry force of British, Indian, and Australian troops, moving 
northward in the coastal plain, seized the road junction of 
Hudeira, nineteen miles from the point of departure, and twenty- 
eight miles north of Joppe, by midday. 

East of the Jordan, a strong detachment of the Arab troops 
of the king of the Hedjaz, descending on the Turkish railway 
junction of Deraa, severed the rail communications leading north, 
south, and west from that center. Naval units cooperated with 
the advance of the land troops, clearing the coastal roads with 

By 8 p. m. on September 19, 1918, over 3,000 prisoners had 
passed through corps cages, many more being reported, but 
not yet counted. Large quantities of material had also been 

By 8 p. m. on September 20, 1918, the enemy resistance had 
collapsed everywhere, save on the Turkish left in the Jordan 


Valley. The British left wing, having swung round to the east, 
had reached the line Bidieh-Baka-Messudieh Junction, astride 
the rail and roads converging on Shechem from the west. The 
right wing, advancing through difficult country against consid- 
erable resistance, had reached the line Khan Jibeit-Es Sawieh, 
facing north astride the Jerusalem-Shechem road. On the north, 
cavalry, traversing the Field of Armageddon, had occupied 
Nazareth, Afuleh, and Beisan, and were collecting the disor- 
ganized masses of enemy troops and transport as they arrived 
from the south. 

All avenues of escape open to the enemy, except the fords 
across the Jordan between Beisan and Jisr-ed-Damieh, a distance 
of twenty-seven miles, were thus closed. East of the Jordan, 
the Arab forces of the king of the Hedjaz had effected numerous 
demolitions on the railways radiating from Deraa, several im- 
portant bridges, including one in the Yarmuk Valley, having 
been destroyed. 

By 9 p. m. on September 21, 1918, the infantry of the British 
left wing, pivoting on their left about Bir Asur, five miles east 
by north from Tul Keram, had reached the line Beit Dejan- 
Semaria-Bir Asur, shepherding the enemy on and west of the 
Jerusalem-Shechem road into the arms of the cavalry operating 
southward from Jenin and Beisan. 

Other enemy columns vainly attempted to escape into the 
Jordan Valley, in the direction of Jisr-ed Damieh, southeast of 
Shechem, which was still held by enemy troops. These columns 
suffered severely from British aircraft, which constantly har- 
assed them with bombs and machine-gun fire from low altitudes. 

In the vicinity of Lake Galilee British cavalry detachments 
held Nazareth and the rail and road passages over the Jordan 
at Jisr el Mujamia. 

Having seized the passages off the Jordan at Jisr-ed Damieh, 
twenty-three miles north of the Dead Sea, on the morning of 
September 22, 1918, the last avenue of escape open to the enemy 
west of the river was closed. The Seventh and Eighth Turkish 
Armies virtually ceased to exist. Their entire transport was 
in British hands. 


By September 22, 1918, 25,000 prisoners and 260 guns had 
been counted, but many prisoners and much material remained 
to be enumerated. 

East of the Jordan the enemy was reported on September 
24, 1918, withdrawing toward Amman, on the Hedjaz Railway, 
twenty-four miles east of the Jordan, pursued by Australian, 
New Zealand, East Indian, and Jewish troops, which had reached 
Es Salt, eleven miles east of the Jordan, capturing guns and 
prisoners. In the north cavalry had occupied Jaifa and Acre, 
after slight opposition. 

The Arab forces of King Hussein had occupied Maan, about 
seventy miles south of the Dead Sea and were harassing the 
bodies of the enemy retreating northward toward Amman along 
the Hedjaz Railway. 

Operations against Amman were begun at dawn of September 
Q6, 1918, by the Anzacs. By 2 o'clock that afternoon this ancient 
stronghold of the Turks, in the defense of which they were 
assisted by German forces, had been rushed by New Zealand 

On the north affairs were progressing equally favorable to 
the British forces. During the night of September 27, 1918, 
the cavalry of General Allenby's Army swam and forded the 
Jordan north of Lake Tiberias, and on the day following cap- 
tured the high ground to the east. Early that morning they were 
astride the Damascus road at Dar Ezaras and later that day 
they had advanced to El Kuneitrah, forty miles southwest of 

On the same day other cavalry detachments of General Allen- 
by's Army joined hands with the Arab Army at Deraa, in Gilead. 
From then on, both from the Jordan crossing and from Deraa, 
British cavalry and armored cars pushed forward to Damascus, 
either route being about fifty miles in length. The Arabs were 
cooperating on the Deraa-Damascus line, which is that of the 
Hedjaz Railway. In their pursuit the advancing columns crossed 
both the Pharpar and the Albana, *'the rivers of Damascus." 
By the evening of September 30, 1918, British cavalry had 
established themselves on the north, west, and south of Damas- 


cus. From the enemy rear guards, which disputed the advance 
throughout the day, 1,000 prisoners and five guns were taken. 
Finally, troops of the Australian Mounted Division entered 
Damascus during the night of September 30, 1918. At 6 a. m. 
on October 1, 1918, the city was occupied by a British force and 
and by a portion of the Arab Army of King Hussein. Over 7,000 
prisoners were taken. After the surrender, with the exception 
of necessary guards, all the Allied troops were withdrawn from 
the city, and for the time being the local authorities remained 
responsible for its administration. 

Damascus has a population of from 230,000 to 300,000. It 
is the starting point of the Hedjaz Railway, built by Abdul 
Hamid, nominally for the benefit of pilgrims to Mecca and 
Medina, but in reality to increase the Ottoman hold on western 
Arabia. This line connects southward v/ith the railways to 
Palestine, while westward a railway runs to the important sea- 
port of Beirut. Northward a railway runs to Homs and Aleppo, 
fifty miles distant, where it connects with the Bagdad Railway. 

During the next few days there was no change in the general 
situation. To the north and west of Damascus, on the Aleppo 
and Beirut roads respectively, British cavalry were clearing the 
country, and took over 15,000 prisoners in that area. 

Since the commencement of operations on the night of Sep- 
tember 18, 1918, over 71,000 prisoners and 350 guns had been 
captured, besides some 8,000 prisoners claimed by the Arab 
Army of King Hussein. Included in these figures are the Turk* 
ish commanders of the Sixteenth, Nineteenth, Twenty-fourth, 
Fifty-third, and composite divisions, the commander of the Maan 
garrison, and German and Austrian troops numbering over 200 
officers and 3,000 of other ranks. 

In the afternoon of October 6, 1918, Zahleh, at the foot of 
Mount Lebanon, and Raysk, respectively thirty-three and thirty 
miles northwest of Damascus, were occupied by British cavalry. 
Raysk is the point at which the enemy broad-gauge railway 
from the north joins the 1.05-meter gauge system of Palestine. 
The latter system was now, therefore, entirely in British hands. 
A considerable quantity of rolling stock, ammunition, and engi- 


neer stores were captured. The railway station and aerodrome 
had been burned by the retreating enemy prior to evacuation. 

In the coastal area the enemy evacuated Beirut and retired 
northward. Saida (Sidon) was occupied by British troops on 
October 7, 1918, without opposition. French and British war- 
ships entered the port of Beirut on October 6, 1918, finding the 
town evacuated by the enemy. 

On October 7, 1918, British armored cars, preceding cavalry 
^nd infantry columns, arrived, and on October 8, 1918, advanced 
detachments of British and Indian infantry occupied the place, 
being received enthusiastically by the inhabitants. 

The number of prisoners taken by the Egyptian Expeditionary 
Force, exclusive of those taken by the Arab Armies, had risen 
to over 75,000, and it was estimated that of the entire strength 
of the Turkish Fourth, Seventh, and Eighth Armies not more 
than 17,000 in all had escaped, this figure including about 4,000 
effective rifles. Many of the prisoners captured were in a 
lamentable state of exhaustion. The prisoners taken by the 
Arab forces numbered 8,000, so that the total captures by 
the Allies in Palestine and Syria since September 18, 1918, 
amounted to over 83,000. Of these over 3,200 were Germans 
or Austrians. 

In occupying Beirut the British captured sixty Turkish offi- 
cers and 600 men. Baalbek was entered by armored car bat- 
teries on October 9, 1918, after a force of some 500 Turks had 
surrendered to the inhabitants. Advanced British cavalry and 
armored cars occupied Tripoli thirty-five miles north of Beirut, 
on October 13, 1918, and Homs, on the Damascus-Aleppo Rail- 
road, about eighty miles distant from either of these two cities, 
on October 15, 1918. 

In Mesopotamia British troops continued to pursue the Turks 
on both banks of the Tigris. On October 25, 1918, British col- 
umns moving up the eastern bank forced the passage of the 
Lesser Zab near its mouth in conjunction with cavalry, which 
had crossed this river on the previous evening seven miles farther 
upstream. The latter movement turned the left flank of a Turk- 
ish force holding the angle formed by the junction of the Lesser 


Zab with the Tigris, and assisted the main body to drive the 
enemy across the Tigris to the western bank. 

Meanwhile other British troops advancing up the right oi 
western bank of the Tigris over a difficult country, much cut up 
by ravines, forced the Turks from a hill position which they were 
holding in prolongation of their forces on the left bank. The 
enemy, after burning their stores, retired about four miles far- 
ther up the river. 

On the Kirkuk road, the main Bagdad-Mosul highway, lying 
east of the Tigris, British patrols entered the southern outskirts 
of Kirkuk. The Turks appear to be occupying in strength the 
high ground to the north of the town, which is about 100 miles 
southeast of Mosul. 

On October 26, 1918, the Turks still held a strong position on 
the Jebel Hamrin, west of the mouth of the Lesser Zab. But 
on the previous day British armored cars, moving by the desert 
track farther to the west, had struck in on the Turkish line of 
communications in the neig'hborhood of Kalet Shergat, where 
they attacked the enemy's convoys. 

At the same time British cavalry, moving up' the left bank of 
the Tigris, threatened the enemy's line of communication from 
the east. The pressure of British troops in front, combined with 
attacks on their communications, compelled the Turks to retreat 
twelve miles to the north during the night of October 26, 1918, 
to a position three miles south of Kalet Shergat. 

By October 27, 1918, the British main body was in touch with 
Turkish troops covering the crossing of the Lesser Zab. 

All that day Turkish reserves tried to break through the 
Eleventh Indian Cavalry Brigade, who barred the road to Mosul, 
but without success, though the arrival of Turkish reenforce- 
ments from Mosul forced that brigade to draw back its right 
in order to cover its rear. 

On the night of October 27-28, 1918, the Seventh Indian Cav- 
alry Brigade joined the Eleventh, and the Fifty-third Indian 
Infantry Brigade, moving up the east bank after a march of 
thirty-three miles, was able to support the cavalry in preventing 
any Turks from breaking through northward. On October 28, 


1918, the Seventeenth Indian Division successfully assaulted 
the Turkish Shergat position, and on the 29th, though exhausted 
by their continuous fighting and marching through the rugged 
hills, pushed forward and attacked till nightfall the Turks who 
were now hemmed in. 

On the morning of October 30, 1918, the Turkish commander, 
mrrendered his entire force, consisting of the whole of the 
Fourteenth Division, the bulk of the Second Division, and por- 
tions of two regiments of the Fifth Division, with all their 
artillery trains and administrative services, amounting to some 
8,000 men. 

In the meantime, British advanced cavalry and armored cars 
had occupied Aleppo on the morning of October 26, 1918, after 
overcoming slight opposition. 

British cavalry immediately renewed their advance and by 
October 28, 1918, they were fifteen miles north of Aleppo, having 
occupied Muslimie station, the junction of the Bagdad and Da- 
mascus-Aleppo Railways. 

That evening British cavalry, moving up the east bank of 
the Tigris, forded the river north of Kalat Shergat, joined 
the armored cars which approached from the west, and estab- 
lished themselves astride the Turkish communications with 

There they were heavily attacked by the Turks on October 
29, 1918, and, though the right flank had to withdraw, they 
succeeded in defeating all attempts to drive them off the 
road. In the evening they were reenforced by troops from the 
eastern bank, which enabled them to restore the situation 

The same day other British troops advanced up the western 
bank of the Tigris after a long and difficult march, attacked and 
drove the Turks from their positions three miles south of Kalat 
Shergat, and captured the village. 

On October 30, 1918, the pursuit continued. The Turks were 
heavily engaged five miles north of Kalat Shergat, where they 
put up a stubborn defense in broken ground and ravines. By 
nightfall the British had penetrated deeply into the enemy po- 


sitions, and a portion of his force, which attempted to escape 
to the northwest, was cut off by cavalry from the north, who 
captured 1,000 prisoners and much material. 



ON October 24, 1918, indications that a new Allied offensive 
was about to be started on the Italian front were officially 
confirmed. An intense artillery fire broke out that morning at 
dawn along the Italian line. The fire was especially violent 
in the region of Monte Grappa. Brisk infantry actions occurred 
on the highlands of the Seven Communes, the Italian troops 
obtaining considerable success. 

At the same time French sections attacked the enemy positions 
at Monte Sisomel, forcing the defenders to give way and cap- 
turing three officers and about 800 men. British troops attacked 
the Austrian positions south of Asiago and captured six officers 
and about 300 men. 

Violent actions were being carried on by the Italian troops 
south of Assa and north of Monte Val Bella. A consider- 
able number of enemy troops were captured during this 

It soon became evident that this was to be an offensive, care- 
fully prepared and planned on a large scale, but no one then 
dreamed of the final results it was destined to have, though 
military officials in Washington apparently had high hopes from 
the very beginning. They were quoted in newspapers as early 
as the second day of the offensive as stating that the place 
selected for the attack indicated that the present operations 
might be preliminary steps to a major offensive. If the high 
ground between the Brenta and Piave Rivers were carried in 
sufficient force, it was believed that it might be possible for the 
Italian army, supported by French and British units and artil- 


lery, and possibly by American troops, to reach the valley of the 
upper Piave and outflank the whole Austrian position on the 
lower stretches of the river, running from the Monte Grappa 
Plateau to the sea. Immediate withdrawal of the Austrian forces- 
on this line would appear to be the certain result of any striking 
Italian success on the lines under assault. 

The Piave forms a great loop, flowing down toward the plateau 
from the northeast, then swinging sharply southeast to reach the 
sea. West of the Monte Grappa Heights, that deflect the river's 
course, the Brenta flows down from the northwest and bends 
sharply south about the eastern face of the rugged plateau. It 
was in the territory between the two rivers that the new attack 
had been launched. 

Aside from its military significance, the operation in Italy 
was being watched closely by officials as a test of the spirit of 
the Austrian army. Reports of disorders and disaffections in 
the Dual Monarchy had been persistent for months, and it was 
regarded as quite within the range of possibility that the war 
weariness at home would show itself decisively at the front. 
In that case, it was felt, the early capitulation of Gennany'a 
chief ally might be expected. 

The second day's news, indeed, supported these high hopes. 

Bitter fighting occurred during the morning of October 25, 
1918, in the Monte Grappa region. Parties of Italian troops 
resolutely attacked some portions of the formidable enemy posi- 
tions and succeeded in wresting from him and maintaining pos- 
session of the important supporting points in the western and 
southern area of the massif. They established themselves on 
the northern bank of the Ornic Torrent in the Alano Basin. The 
enemy, who offered stubborn resistance, suffered considerable 

A few small islands were occupied at Grave di Papodopoli, in 
the Piave River. The hostile garrisons were captured. In the 
Posina-Altico sector and in the Assa Valley enemy advanced 
posts were destroyed. On the Asiago Plateau, Italian and Allied 
patrols carried out a small surprise attack with success. The 
total number of prisoners captured from midnight of October 


23 to midnight of October 24, 1918, was four officers and 2,791 
men of other ranks. 

Again on October 26, 1918, in the region northwest of the 
Monte Grappa massif, fighting began at dawn and continued 
the whole day on the terrain carried by the Italians on the pre- 
ceding day. The struggle was fierce and with varying fortune. 
but finally the stubbornness of the Fourth Italian Army over^ 
came the desperate attacks of the enemy and the Italian positions 
were maintained and extended at some points. The Aosta Brig- 
ade, with remarkable elan, took Monte Valderoa, to the north- 
west of Monte Spinoncia. 

Aeroplanes bombed and dispersed columns of troops and trans- 
ports in the Augana Valley, the Cismon Valley, and the Arten 
Basin. During that day forty-seven officers and 2,002 of other 
ranks were captured. 

The Pesaro Brigade and the Eighteenth and Twenty-third 
Assault Detachments carried out the difficult conquest of Monte 
Pertica, which had been formidably fortified by the enemy. 

The attack of the Tenth Italian Army across the Piave in the 
area of the island of Grave di Papodopoli commenced at 6.40 
a. m., October 7, 1918. The Italian troops on the right met with 
strong resistance. After heavy fighting, this resistance was 
overcome and the advance successfully commenced. On the 
right of the Eleventh Italian Corps, commanded by General 
Paolino, British troops advanced east of the river and reached 
the line from the neighborhood of Roncadelle to a point halfway 
to Cimadolino and St. Pelo di Piave, where they came in touch 
with the Fourteenth British Corps, under Lieutenant General 
Sir U. Babington, who had captured Tezze and Borgo Mala- 
motte. Later in the day the Italians, in conjunction with Allied 
contingents, crossed the Piave River by force of arms, engaging 
in bitter battles the enemy, who strove desperately to bar the 

Between the slopes and heights of Valdobbiadene and the 
mouth of the Soligo Torrent Italian infantry assault troops had 
passed, during the night, under violent fire to the left bank of 
the river, broken into the enemy's front lines, and carried them. 


Supported by the fire of the artillery on the right bank, they 
gained ground and repulsed enemy counterattacks throughout 
the day. 

To the south the Tenth Army, taking advantage of the suc- 
cesses of the British at Grave di Papodopoli, compelled the enemy 
to retire, and repulsed two counterattacks in the direction of 
Borgo Malanotte and Roncadelle. The prisoners taken during 
the day aggregated more than 9,000. Fifty-one guns were 
captured. Allied aircraft, with extreme daring, again attacked 
the enemy troops from low altitudes. 

In local fighting on Monte Grappa 150 prisoners were taken. 
The enemy heavily attacked on Monte Pertica and obtained a 
foothold in the Italian positions, although at great sacrifices. 
Later the Italian infantry, in severe fighting, drove out the 
enemy and regained the lost positions. By the end of the day 
the line of the Tenth Army was reported to run south of Sta- 
binzzos. Polo di Piaveborgo, Zanettiborgo, Malanotte, Lasegac, 
and Tonon. 

The next day the battle was continued with equal success by 
the Italians and their allies. The Twelfth Army took the heights 
of Valdobbiadene. French infantry captured in assault Mont 
Pionar. The plain of Sernaglia was occupied. Italian troops 
carried the heights of Colfosco and had entered Susegana. Ad- 
vance guards pushed to the left of the Monticono. On the left 
bank of the Omic River the Italians had occupied the village of 
Alano di Piave, taking several hundred prisoners. Aeroplanes 
daringly carried supplies to advanced troops on the left bank 
of the Piave. 

On the same day it also became officially known that Ameri- 
cans were standing on reserve behind the British and Italian 
forces now driving across the Piave. 

The news, according to a Washington dispatch to the New 
York "Times," was considered significant not because of the 
size of the American contingent in Italy or the direct effect it 
might have on the battle, but because it indicated that the Italian 
drive v/as a definite part of the great offensive that was rapidly 
bringing complete defeat to the Central Powers. 


So far as official announcements showed there were but two 
regiments of infantry and necessary auxiliary troops in the 
American force in Italy. These units and any others that may 
have been sent probably were expected to operate as a part of 
one of the Italian or British organizations when the time had 
come to throw them into the line. The same practice was 
followed in France, where two Italian divisions had been 
employed at various times on the front as units of a French 
army corps. 

The sending of American troops to Italy was not with the 
idea of adding military strength but to demonstrate the unity of 
command and purpose on all fronts. For that reason the force 
detached by General Pershing for this purpose was believed not 
to have exceeded a brigade of infantry at most. The artillery 
support contributed by the Allies to the Italian front was largely 
British. Some American air units were in Italy and had par- 
ticipated in the work at the front. 

It became known on October 28, 1918, that American troops 
were fighting in Italy. On that day the offensive extended 
southward from the middle Piave. A third army had entered 
the struggle. On the front from the Brenta to the sea three- 
quarters of the Italian army were fighting in union with a 
French division and the 332d American Infantry Regiment. 

Between the Brenta and Piave Rivers the bitterness of the 
resistance and the aggressiveness of the enemy, supported by 
fresh reserves had, for six days, given the struggle particular 
fierceness. East of the Piave the enemy was yielding to Italian 
troops' pressure and the Italian troops were overcoming suc- 
cessive lines. 

In the Grappa region the Italian Fourth Army gained advan- 
tages. In the region of Pertice and Col del Orso, the Twelfth 
Army had reached the outskirts of the village of Quero, taken 
Sequisine, and carried Monte Cesen. 

The Eighth Army occupied the defile of Follina and reached 
Vittorio. There was fighting north of Conegliano. The Italian 
Tenth Army was beyond the Conegliano-Oderzo road. The Third 
Army had crossed the Piave to San Dona Piave and east of 

War St. 8— Ic 


Zenson. The prisoners captured so far numbered 802 officers 
And 32,198 men. Of g?uns several hundred had been taken. 

On October 30, 1918, the Italian and Allied armies were con- 
tinuing to rapidly advance after the retreating enemy, who 
attempted in vain to retard them. Heads of columns had reached 
Serravalle, Orsago, Gajarine, and Oderzo. Cavalry divisions 
were advancing in the plains and some squadrons entered 

In overcoming strong resistance between the Piave and the 
Monticano, the Third Army fought brilliantly. The river cross- 
ing at Ponti di Piave was carried in a fierce action. The enemy 
was obliged to evacuate Asiago, which was promptly occupied. 

During the rush of the advance it had been impossible to keep 
count of the thousands of prisoners and many guns. Besides the 
populations of towns and villages, there had been liberated num- 
bers of Italian prisoners who had been in Austrian hands. 

The success of the Italian forces was rapidly assuming great 
proportions. The routed enemy was retreating east of the Piave, 
unable to withstand the close pressure of Allied troops on the 
mountain front. In the Venetian plains and the Alpine foothills 
the Italian armies were irresistibly directed on the objectives 
assigned to them. Hostile ma^^ses were thronging into the 
mountain valleys or attempting to reach the crossings on the 
Tagliamento. Prisoners, guns, material, stores, and depots 
almost intact, were being left in Italian hands. 

The Twelfth Army had completed its possession of the massif 
of Cison and was now fighting to carry the gorge of Quero. The 
Eighth Army had captured the spur between the Follina Basin 
and the Piave Valley. Other forces had occupied the defile of 
Serravalle and were advancing toward the high plain of Can- 
siglio and toward Pordenone. Czecho-Slovaks had been in the 
action throughout the entire week. 

In the Grappa region the attack was renewed in the morning. 
Col Caprile, Col Bonatto, Asolone, Monte Prassaolan, the Sola- 
rolo salient, and Monte Spinocia had been carried. On the 
Asiago Plateau the harassed enemy maintained an aggressive 


By then it had been ascertained that the prisoners taken ex- 
ceeded 50,000. More than 300 guns had been counted. 

The advance of the Tenth Army, with which British and 
American troops were fighting, continued without check through- 
out the day. British cavalry detachments, in close touch with 
Italian cavalry, had reached the western outskirts of Sacile. 
Troops of the Fourteenth British Corps had reached the Livenza 
River at Francenigo. Farther south the Eleventh Italian Corps 
had occupied Oderzo. This advance had been gained through- 
out practically the entire length of the objective assigned to 
the Earl of Cavan, British Commander on the Piave, by General 
Diaz when plans were first formed early in October, 1918. The 
energy and determination of the infantry had been beyond all 

The difficulties of bridging the Piave led at first to an inevi- 
table shortness of supplies. In spite of lack of food and sleep 
and in the face of constant fighting the Thirty-seventh Italian 
Division and the Seventh and Twenty-third British Divisions 
had advanced without relief to their final objective. British and 
Italian troops operating on the Asiago Plateau entered Cam- 
porovere (northeast of Asiago) and captured the heights of 
Mocatz. The number of prisoners taken by the Tenth Army 
alone had increased to more than 12,000. 

The battle continued to expand. The enemy maintained intact 
his resistance from Stelvio to the Astico, but he was vacillating 
on the Asiago Plateau and in full retreat along the remainder 
of the front. He was protected more by interruptions in the 
roads than by his rear guards, who were irresistibly over- 
whelmed. Italian batteries, brought forward quickly with cap- 
tured enemy artillery, were intensely shelling the adversary, 
firing to the extreme extent of their range. Cavalry divisions, 
having destroyed the enemy resistance on the Livenza and re- 
established crossings, were marching toward the Tagliamento. 

The Sixth Army, on October 31, 1918, entered into action 
with a brilliant advance by the Ancona Brigade at the end of 
the Brenta Valley, and in the morning it attacked the adversary 
along the whole front. 


On the Grappa, under the impetus of the Fourth Army's 
thrust, the enemy front had collapsed. It was impossible to 
estimate the prisoners coming down the mountain in flocks. 
All the hostile artillery here was captured. The Italians forced 
the gorge of Quero, passed beyond the spur east of Monteresen, 
and were advancing in the Piave Valley. Overcoming the enemy 
rear guards at the Passo di St. Buldo, Italian troops were de- 
scending into the Piave Valley toward Belluno. Other parties 
were engaged in fighting in the hollow of Fadalto, which was 
still occupied by the enemy. Cavalry and cyclists, following the 
road to the foothills, were opening the way to Aviano. 

By the end of the day the Fourth Army was master of the 
Fonzaso Valley. The Bologna Brigade entered Feltre that night. 

The Twelfth Army, having gone through the Quero defile 
from the mountains, was joining up on the Piave course with 
the Eighth Army. The latter had descended the valley of the 
Piave to the south of Belluno, and had detachments engaged in 
the Fadalto Valley, which light columns were encircling by way 
of Farra d'Alpago. 

The right wing of the front of the Third Army had been 
prolonged toward the coast by a marine regiment, which had 
occupied all the intricate coastal zone, which the enemy in part 
flooded. A patrol of sailors had reached Caorile. The Third 
Army by nightfall had reached the Livenza. Advanced guards 
entered Motta di Ldvenza and Torre di Mosto. British infantry 
and mounted troops occupied Sacile. The troops of the Tenth 
Army reached the line of the Livenza from that place as far 
south as Brugnera. The number of prisoners was continually 
Increasing, and the various armies captured more than 700 
guns. The booty taken was immense, its value being estimated 
in billions of lire. 

As the Italian army prosecuted its victorious advance, most 
deplorable evidence was coming to light of atrocities by the 
enemy during the period of invasion. In Italy, as in France, the 
fury of the barbarians was intense against things and persons. 
Such fury was witnessed not only by Italian soldiers, but by 
representatives of the Italian and Allied press accompanying 


advancing columns. Everywhere there were tokens of willful, 
useless destruction and brutal robberies. Terrified eyewitnesses 
narrated horrible scenes. The Italian Government, the mili- 
tary authorities, and the Allies stated that they would not fail^ 
to carry out rigorous inquiry regarding abominations committed, 
of which the enemy, must give an account. Italians found in 
freed zones were in a terrible state. They lacked everything 
because the enemy during a year of occupation had destroyed, 
burned, sacked, and carried off everything. 

The utter collapse of the Austrian forces and the fierceness 
of the fighting are well illustrated by a special dispatch sent 
under date of October 31, 1918, from Italian headquarters east 
of the Piave and published in the New York "Times" the follow- 
ing day. It said: 

"At many points east of the Piave there are so many Austrian 
prisoners that they block the roads over which they are being 
marched to the rear. The Venetian plain immediately east of 
the Piave is a scene of desolation. Houses and villages have 
been ruined by shell fire. When the advancing Italians reached 
Sacile they were received as saviors, and the women and children 
of the town fell on their knees before them. During a recent 
influenza epidemic in the town the Austrians are said to have 
brutally rejected appeals from mothers for food for their sick 

"Every bridge in the path of the advancing Allies has been 
the scene of fighting. One railroad bridge near Conegliano was 
lost and retaken thirty times. In the storming of Monte Cis- 
mon, which gives to the Allies command of the valleys of the 
Brenta and Cismon — and the domination of the Brenta virtu- 
ally means possession of the Trentino — an Austrian battery of 
six guns which had been shelling the city of Bassano was cap- 
tured. The morning before it was taken fifty persons were 
killed in Bassano." 

By November 1, 1918, more than 1,000 square miles of Italy's 
invaded provinces had been reconquered, but the greatest im- 
portance of the daring movement conceived by General Diaz 
was his success in separating the Austrian army occupying the 


Monte Grappa and Trentino regions from that on the Venetian 
plains. At the same time he was threatening the Austrian con-, 
tingents holding the section southeast of the Piave, which, it was 
expected, would be enveloped or cut off by the Italians advancing 
toward Pordenone. 

Allied troops had reached the Gringo, five miles north of 
Monte Lisser. They had cut off the retreat of the Austrians in 
Trentino, except over mule paths in the mountains. On the 
Asiago Plateau the Sixth Army and two Allied divisions carried 
formidable positions which the Austrians had held for many 
months. Monte Mosciavi, Monte Baldo, Monte Longara, La 
Meletia di Gallio, Sasso Rosso, Monte Spitz, and Lambara were 
taken. Three thousand prisoners and 232 guns were captured 
on the Asiago Plateau alone. 

Enemy resistance at Fidalto defile was overcome by Italian 
troops who entered Belluno. The Third Cavalry Division 
reached the plains north of Pordenone. The Second Cavalry 
was fighting hostile rear guards in Meduna. The infantry of the 
Tenth and Third Armies passed the Livenza River between 
Sacile and San Stino. 

East of the Brenta the pursuit continued. On the Asiago 
Plateau the enemy was resisting to gain time for the masses in 
the rear to retire, but the troops of the Sixth Army crossed by 
force of arms the pass between Rotzo and Roana, carrying in 
a bitter struggle Monte Cimone and Monte Lisser, and were ad- 
vancing in the valley of the Nos. 

The Fourth Army occupied the heights north of the hollow 
of Fonzaso, and pushed forward columns into the Sugana Val- 
ley. The old frontier was passed in the evening. Alpine groups, 
having crossed the Piave with improvised means in the neigh- 
borhood of Busche, spread out in the area between Feltre and 
San Giustina. Italian troops who the day before won in heavy 
fighting at the Passo di Boldo the hollow of Fadalto were going 
up the Cordevole Valley. They had passed beyond Ponte nelle 
Alpi and were marching toward Longarone. 

On the plains an Italian cavalry division under the Count of 
Turin, having overcome the resistance of the enemy at Castello 


d'Aviano, Roveredo-in-Piano, San Martino, and San Quirino, 
occupied Pordenone and passed the Cellima-Meduna. Italian 
and Allied aviators were complete masters of the air and 
continued without pause their daring activities. An Italian 
airship bombarded the railway stations in the Sugana Valley 
at night. 

It was not possible to calculate the number of guns aban- 
doned on the lines of battle, now distant from the fighting 
fronts, and on the roads. More than 1,600 had been counted 
so far. More than 80,000 prisoners had been counted. Italian 
soldiers had liberated also several thousand prisoners from 

British troops of the Tenth Army crossed the Livenza River 
between Motta and Sacile and established a bridgehead east of 
that stream. The Northamptonshire Yeomanry Regiment cap- 
tured twelve mountain guns and fifteen machine guns. The 
Forty-eighth Division, operating on the Asiago Plateau, was 
reported to have advanced its line two kilometers northward, 
but was meeting with machine-gun resistance in the neighbor- 
hood of Monte Interrotto. 

The First Army on November 2, 1918, captured Monte Ma jo 
and attacked Passo della Borcola. In the Posina sector Italian 
troops took Monte Cimone, on the Tonezzo Plateau, and, aftei 
ascending the Assa Valley, occupied Lastebasse. 

On the Asiago Plateau the Allies captured a great number of 
prisoners and guns. Still the advance continued. There were 
lively rear-guard combats west of Castelnuovo, in the Sugana 
Valley, and at Ponte della Serra, in the Cismon Valley. In 
the Cordevole Valley Italian advance guards reached Mis. Italian 
cavalry occupied Spilimbergo and Pordenone, and the fighting 
reached the east bank of the Tagliamento, across which patrols 
had been thrown. 

In the plains the heads of the Italian columns reached tht 
line of Azzanodecimo, Portogruaro, Concordia, and Sagittaria 

On the same day Allied troops broke through the enemy's 
fortifications at Celadel. The Tonale Pass was forced and the 
Val Arsa taken from Col Santa to the north of Pasubio. 


The advance was continuing irresistibly on the Tonezza, the 
Asiago Plateau, in the Sugana Valley, the valleys of Cismon and 
Cordevole, and along the Piave and on the plains. 

On the Tagliamento, cavalry, supported by mounted batteries, 
Bersaglieri, and cyclists, was winning bitter combats against 
the adversary, who, surprised on his side of the river, was fight- 
ing with great stubbornness. The Second Brigade, with the 
regiments from Genoa and Italian and Allied airmen, brilliantly 
maintained exceptional activity. The total of prisoners had 
reached 100,000 and the guns captured more than 2,000. 

The bridging of the Livenza River was being rapidly carried 
out by British troops, some of whom were well east of that river. 
The number of prisoners captured by the Tenth Army alone 
could not at that time be accurately given, but it was known to 
be considerably over 15,000, with 150 guns. Of these more than 
10,000 prisoners and more than 100 guns had been captured by 
the Fourteenth British Corps. The booty taken at Sacile in- 
cluded among the vast amount of other material an ordnance 
workshop complete and a pontoon park. In their operations on 
the Asiago Plateau the Forty-eighth British Division captured 
nearly 200 prisoners. The British air force continued through- 
out the day to bomb the dense masses of retiring Austrians with 
visibly good results. 

In the meantime Austria-Hungary had appealed for an ar- 
mistice on October 29, 1918. After careful deliberations on the 
part of the Allies, during the process of which the Italian forces 
had continued their victorious advance without abatement, the 
terms on which the Allies had agreed were submitted to the 
Austrians, who accepted them on November 3, 1918, and hostil- 
ities were suspended on November 4, 1918, at 3 p. m. Germany 
had now lost her route to the East, and if she continued the war 
must fight single-handed on the western front. 

Before the armistice became operative the Italian columns, 
having passed every obstacle and overcome every resistance, had 
advanced with great impetus and had firmly established them- 
selves behind the enemy in the Adige Valley, closing the openings 
of all the roads convergent to it. The Seventh Army, by rapidly 


taking the region to the west of the Adige, became master of 
the Passo della Mendola, and had pushed patrols on the river 
in the direction of Bolzani. The First Army, which, with the 
advance made on November 3, 1918, by its Twenty-ninth Corps, 
had crowned its brilliant maneuver for the taking of Trento, 
occupied Monticelli, dominating the confluence of the Adige Noce. 
Early in the afternoon of November 4, 1918, the headquarters 
of this army were established at Trento. 

The landing at Trieste began at 11 o'clock a. m., November 3, 
1918. The first to land was a battalion of the Royal Italian 
Marines, which was received by the population assembled on 
the embankments with great jubilation. The city was be- 
decked with Italian flags, and in a short time Bersaglieri were 
marching through its streets, enthusiastically acclaimed by the 

From then on the Italians extended their successes toward 
the south along the Dalmatian coast. Within a few days Aus- 
tria-Hungary lost all her ports and her end as a maritime power 
seemed assured. 

Lissa was occupied by naval forces on the same day. On 
November 4, 1918, Italian vessels occupied Abbazia, Rovigno, 
and Parenzo on the Istrian coast, the neighboring island of 
Lussin, and, in the middle Adriatic, Lagosta, Meleda, and 
Curzola. Other ships entered the port of Fiume, Small parties 
of sailors landed at Riva. 

Thus the liberation of "Italia Irredenta" was practically 



AFTER the overwhelming defeats which the Turkish armies 
^^ had suffered — as described in other chapters of this volume 
—in Mesopotamia and Palestine in the fall of 1918, it became 
clear that the hour for surrender had struck for Turkey. 


As soon as the Turkish authorities had decided that their 
cause was lost, they sent General Townshend, the hero of Kut- 
el-Amara, who since the British debacle on the Tigris in 1916 
had been their prisoner, to inform the British Admiral in com- 
mand in the ^gean Sea that they desired to open immediately 
negotiations for an armistice. Vice Admiral Calthorp, the 
British commander, replied that, if Turkey sent fully accredited 
plenipotentiaries, they would be informed of the conditions 
which the Allies had decided to impose upon Turkey before 
hostilities could cease. 

The Turkish plenipotentiaries arrived at Mudros, on the island 
of Lemnos, in the ^gean Sea, on October 27, 1918. Three days 
were consumed in parleys, at the end of which the armistice 
was signed in the evening of October 30, 1918. It was to 
take effect at noon of the next day, and involved, among others, 
the following terms: The opening of the Dardanelles and the 
Bosporus, with Allied occupation of the Dardanelles and the 
Bosporus forts; immediate demobilization of the Turkish army; 
surrender of war vessels in Turkish waters ; right of the Allies 
to occupy strategic points; withdrawal of Turkish troops from 
Persia; surrender of garrisons in Hedjaz, Syria, Mesopotamia, 
etc., to the nearest Allied commander ; Turkey to cease all rela- 
tions with the Central Powers. 

Hard on the heels of the surrender of Germany's second ally 
came the total collapse of its principal supporter, Austria-Hun- 







rpHE sustained success of the Allied armies in France and Bel- 
-^ gium in August and September of 1918 strengthened the de- 
termination of the Allies not to relax any efforts to prosecute 
the war to a victorious conclusion. The Central Powers were 
no less impressed with the trend of events, and throughout Sep- 
tember and October repeated efforts were made by Austria-Hun- 
gary and by Germany to induce President Wilson to take the 
first steps toward an armistice and peace. The President made 
it clear that the United States would urge no course upon the 
Allies that might in any way sacrifice the military advantage 
their armies had gained. It became more and more evident that 
the terms of armistice and peace would be dictated by the Allies. 
That Germany was quite as anxious to bring about a speedy 
armistice as Austria-Hungary was expressed in a note which 
the Washington Government received on October 30, 1918, and 
which the State Department declined to make public because it 
was evident that the document had been prepared mainly for 
propaganda purposes. The note described the various steps that 
had been taken to democratize the German Government with 
the view to impressing the United States that they had complied 
with President Wilson's stand not to discuss an armistice with 
a nation that was still dominated by an autocracy. The note 
endeavored to prove that the German people were now in com- 
plete control of the Government, but it failed to impress the 
Administration, since it did not show any change in the situation 
created by other German proposals to suspend hostilities. The 
evident purpose of the appeal was to influence sentiment in 
foreign countries and gain sympathy in the United States. It 
was well understood at Washington and in the capitals of the 


Allies that the Central Powers realized that they faced complete 
disaster and that their only hope of saving anything from the 
wreck was to bring about a speedy cessation of hostilities. 

On October 31, 1918, the representatives of the Entente Powers 
assembled at Versailles to consider the terms of the armistice 
after an informal meeting at the home of Colonel E. M. House, 
President Wilson's personal representative. On this date Turkey 
capitulated. The United States had no part in arranging the 
Turkish armistice, which was chiefly the work of the British 
and French representatives. The principal terms of the armi- 
stice granted by the Allies to Turkey were: The opening of 
the Dardanelles and the Bosporus and access to the Black Sea, 
and occupation of all forts along these waters by the Allies. All 
Allied prisoners of war and Armenian interned persons and 
prisoners to be collected in Constantinople and handed over un- 
conditionally to the Allies. Immediate demobilization of the 
Turkish army except such as were required to guard frontiers 
and maintain internal order. The surrender of all war vessels 
in Turkish waters, or waters occupied by Turkey. Free use by 
Allied ships of all ports and anchorages now in Turkish occu- 
pation and denial of their use by the enemy. Wireless, cable, 
and telegraph stations to be controlled by the Allies. The sur- 
render of all garrisons in Hedjaz, Yemen, Mesopotamia, etc. 
All Germans and Austrians — naval, military, or civilians — ^to 
be evacuated within one month from Turkish dominions. 

The capitulation of Turkey, though anticipated for some days 
by the Entente and the United States, was important inasmuch 
as it was expected to hasten the collapse of the Central Powers. 
Austria, aflame with anarchy, and with revolutionary mobs pa- 
rading the capital, had no choice but to submit to the Allies' 
terms. In* Washington the complete collapse and unconditional 
surrender of Germany was hourly expected. 

All interest was now centered in the Supreme War Council 
in session at Versailles, where the terms to be offered to the 
Central Powers were under discussion. There were present 
during the deliberations General Tasker H. Bliss, representing 
the United States, Premier Clemenceau, Marshal Foch, Field 


Marshal Sir Douglas Haig, Colonel E. M. House, President 
Wilson's personal representative, and David Lloyd-George, the 
British prime minister. It was decided that the terms to be 
submitted to Germany should be confined strictly to military 
requirements conditioned generally upon President Wilson's 
principles. During the discussion of Austrian questions Serbian 
and Greek representatives were present because of their special 
interest in Austrian affairs. 

At Washington President Wilson kept in touch with the United 
States representatives at the Versailles Council. Colonel House 
advised the President of the progress of the deliberations, and 
there were frequent exchanges of communications. It was known 
in Washington that political and economic conditions in the 
Central Powers had reached such a pass that Austria could not, 
and Germany would not, refuse to sign any terms which the 
Entente was prepared to offer. 

The complete destruction of the Austrian armies" by'^the 
Italians, which resulted in the capture of over 300,000 prisoners 
and 5,000 guns, left the dual monarchy no alternative but com- 
plete surrender. On November 3, 1918, an armistice with Aus- 
tria was signed by General Diaz, the Italian commander in chief, 
which went into operation at 3 o'clock in the afternoon of the 
following day. The principal terms in the armistice may be 
briefly outlined: 

Demobilization of the Austro-Hungarian army and withdrawal 
of all forces operating on the front from the North Sea to Switzer- 
land. Half the divisional corps and army artillery and equip- 
ment to be collected at points indicated by the Allies and the 
United States for delivery to them. Evacuation of all territories 
invaded by Austria-Hungary since the beginning of the war. 
The Allies to have the right of free movement over all roads, 
railroads, and waterways in Austro-Hungarian territory. The 
armies of the Allies to occupy such strategic points as they 
deemed necessary to conduct military operations, or to main- 
tain order. Complete evacuation of all German troops within 
fifteen days from Italian and Balkan fronts and all Austro- 
Hungarian territory. 


Evacuated territories to be governed by local authorities under 
control of the Allied armies of occupation. Immediate repatria- 
tion without reciprocity of all Allied prisoners of war and civil 
populations evacuated from their homes. 

The naval conditions included surrender to the Allies and 
the United States of fifteen submarines and all German sub- 
marines in Austrian waters, three battleships, three light cruis- 
ers, nine destroyers, six Danube monitors, etc. Freedom of navi- 
gation for the Allies in the Adriatic and all waterways, with 
occupation of forts and defenses on the Danube. The existing 
blockade conditions to remain unchanged, and all naval aircraft 
to be concentrated and impactionized in Austro-Hungarian 
bases to be designated by the Allies and the United States of 

The drastic character of the armistice terms were calculated 
to please even the "Bitter Enders" in America and Europe. 
President Wilson's diplomacy was now triumphantly vindicated, 
and those members of Congress who had found fault with his 
note writing were ready to concede that to him belonged a great 
deal of the credit of bringing about a situation that must lead 
to the ending of the war on the Allies' own terms. 

On November 6, 1918, the German Government sent a wireless 
message to Marshal Foch asking him to receive German pleni- 
potentiaries who would arrive at the French outposts on the 
following day (November 7) to arrange for the armistice. The 
mission was headed by Mathias Erzberger, secretary of state, 
and included General von Winterfeld, Count Alfred von Obern- 
dorf. General von Grunnel, and Naval Captain von Sallow. 

As previously noted in the last chapter devoted to military 
operations, the armistice was signed by the German representa- 
tives and all hostilities ceased on November 11, 1918, at 11 a. m. 
On the same date President Wilson announced the terms of the 
armistice in his address to Congress. Briefly summarized, Ger- 
many agreed to the immediate evacuation of all invaded coun- 
tries, including Alsace-Lorraine, and yielded over to Allied occu- 
pation *'the countries on the left bank of the Rhine," including 
control of the crossings of that river at Mayence, Coblenz, and 


Cologne; bridgeheads of thirty kilometer radius on the eastern 
bank and the establishment of a neutral zone from thirty to 
forty kilometers in breadth and running from the frontier of 
Holland to the Swiss frontier. Germany surrendered about half 
her navy, including 160 submarines, which passed at once under 
control of the Allies to be disarmed and interned in Allied or 
neutral ports. All other German warships were to be disarmed 
and concentrated in German naval bases and held under control 
of the Allies and the United States. All the railways of Belgium, 
Luxemburg, and of Alsace-Lorraine with their equipment were 
to be given up. 

In the east Germany abandoned the treaties of Bucharest and 
Brest-Litovsk. All German troops in Russia, Rumania, or Tur- 
key were to be withdrawn and the agents of German propaganda 
recalled. The Baltic was opened to the warships of the Allies, 
and provision was made that through Danzig or the Vistula 
supplies might be sent to the starving peoples of Poland and 

The Black Sea ports were also to be evacuated by Germany 
and she must give up the Russian fleet. While the blockade was 
to be maintained as respected Germany, all German restriction 
upon the trade of neutrals was removed. Germany must give up 
all the prisoners she had taken, all the ships she had seized, but 
this was not reciprocal. German prisoners of war and German 
ships remained in the custody of the Allies. 

While President Wilson was reading to the assembled Congress 
the drastic terms which Germany had been forced to accept in 
order to obtain peace there was a tense silence on the part of 
the great audience. It was only when they realized, as paragraph 
after paragraph was read, how complete the victory of the 
Allies was that faint handclapping was heard, then cheers and 
presently everyone in the gallery and on the floor was on his 
feet cheering madly. After reading the terms of the armistice 
President Wilson continued : 

*'The war thus comes to an end; for, having accepted these 
terms of armistice, it will be impossible for the German command 
to renew it. 




THE fleets of the Allies, and the American fleet, had compara- 
tively few opportunities for direct action after August 1, 
1918, yet they had a great share in winning the war. 

A British destroyer which had been seriously damaged by 
collision was torpedoed and sunk by an enemy submarine in 
the Mediterranean on August 6, 1918. Two officers and five 
men lost their lives as a result of the collision. 

On the next day, August 7, 1918, the old French cruiser 
Dupetit Thouars, which was cooperating with the American 
navy in the protection of shipping in the Atlantic, was torpedoed 
by a submarine. American destroyers rescued the crew, of 
which, however, thirteen were reported missing. The Dupetit 
Thouars, 9,367 tons, was launched in 1901. She carried two 
6-inch and eight 6.4-inch guns. 

Two British destroyers struck mines and sank on August 15, 
1918. Twenty-six men were reported missing — presumed killed 
by explosion or drowned. One man died of wounds. 

In the latter part of August, 1918, a notable feat was per- 
formed by an Italian submarine. On August 20, 1918, it was 
officially reported that, a few days before in the upper Adriatic, 
the Italian submarine F7, after crossing certain mined areas, 
boldly entered the Gulf of Quarnerolo, and seeing near the island 
of Pago a large Austrian steamer going south, the F7 succeeded 
in hitting the vessel amidships with a torpedo, which sank her. 
The submarine returned unharmed to her base. 



Although the Germans gave no opportunity to the British 
and Allied fleets to enter into a real naval battle, the British 
were active in the Helgoland Bight, and were carrying out opera- 
tions with various kinds of light forces in the North Sea, the 
average number of such operations being no less than five daily. 
The number of German surface crafts destroyed in the Bight 
during the year ran into three figures. 

A British torpedo-boat destroyer was sunk on September 8, 
1918, as the result of a collision during a fog. There were no 

Eight days later, on September 16, 1918, a British monitor 
was sunk as she was lying in a harbor. One officer and nineteen 
men were killed and fifty-seven men were missing and were 
presumed to have been killed. 

In the latter part of September, 1918, a part of the British 
fleet again, as it had done many times before, bombarded suc- 
cessfully the German defenses and points of communication on 
the Belgian coast. This operation was carried out in coopera- 
tion with extensive military operations on the part of the Allied 
forces on the Flanders front. 

Still another British torpedo gunboat was sunk on September 
30, 1918, as the result of a collision with a merchant vessel. 
One officer and fifty-two men were reported missing, presumed 
to have been drowned. 

That the Swedish navy suffered the loss of one of its boats 
during the month of September, 1918, became known when it 
was announced on September 25, 1918, that the Swedish gunboat 
Gunhild had been sunk by striking a German mine in the 
Skagerrak, with the loss of the chief officer and eighteen men. 
On October 17, 1918, the British navy at last came into its own. 
It will be recalled that by that time the Germans had been forced 
by the unceasing attacks along the western front, described in 
another part of this volume, to withdraw from the Belgian 
coast. Shortly after noon of the 17th, Vice Admiral Sir Roger 
Keyes, commanding the British Dover Patrol Force, landed at 
Ostend after Royal Air Force contingents working with the 
navy had landed at Ostend and had reported it clear of the enemy. 

War St. 8— Jc 


However, it was soon ascertained that the enemy at the time 
was not clear of the town and a light battery at Le Coq opened 
fire on the ships. Two shells, falling on the beach close to a 
crowd, excited the inhabitants. A heavy battery of four guns 
in the direction of Zeebrugge opened fire on the destroyers, and, 
as it seemed possible the presence of the naval force might lead 
to the bombardment of Ostend or to more shells falling in the 
town, where they would endanger the lives of civilians, the 
British decided to withdraw the naval force, and thus give the 
enemy no excuse for firing toward the town. They, therefore, 
reembarked and the destroyers withdrew, being heavily shelled, 
to just east of Middelkerke. Four motor launches were left at 
Ostend as an inshore patrol, the inhabitants being nervous of 
the Germans returning. The King and Queen of the Belgians 
expressed the wish to visit Ostend, either from the sea or the 
air. In view of the difficulty of landing and the uncertainty of 
the situation, they proceeded in the destroyer Termagant, flying 
the Belgian flag at the main, to the vicinity of Ostend. The 
senior officer of the British motor-launch patrol off Ostend, which 
had been reenforced by French motor launches, reported that all 
had been quiet for some hours. Their majesties therefore landed 
and proceeded to the Hotel de Ville. They were received every- 
v/here with indescribable enthusiasm. They returned to Dun- 
kirk about 10 o'clock at night. The British naval forces suf- 
fered no damage and no casualties. 

In the morning of November 1, 1918, after the Austrian fleet 
had been surrendered to the Jugoslav National Committee, Com- 
mander Rossetti and Lieutenant Paolucci of the Italian navy 
succeeded in entering the inner harbor of Pola and sank the 
large battleship Virihus Unitis, flagship of the Austro-Hun- 
garian fleet. This daring enterprise was accomplished by the 
use of a so-called "navy tank" which succeeded in penetrating 
the mine field at the entrance to the harbor. This was described 
by naval officials as a small vessel, similar to the "Eagle boats" 
being built for the United States navy. 

During this period the Italian navy also was active in the occu- 
pation of Austro-Hungarian ports on the Adriatic. Thus Italian 


battleships entered the ports of Zara and Lussinpiccolo and 
raised the Italian flag there. Zara is a seaport of Austria- 
Hungary and is the capital of Dalmatia. It is situated on a 
promontory on the eastern coast of the Adriatic, 170 miles 
southeast of Venice. Lussinpiccolo is a town on an island 
belonging to the Crownland of Istria. It is the principal sea- 
port of the Quarnero Islands, between Istria and the Croatian 

A few days before the cessation of hostilities the British 
battleship BHtannia was torpedoed near the west entrance to 
the Strait of Gibraltar on November 9, 1918, and sank three and 
a half hours later. Thirty-nine officers and 673 men were saved. 
The Britannia, which had a displacement of 16,350 tons, was 
launched at Portsmouth December 10, 1904. She was 453.7 
feet in length, had a speed of approximately nineteen knots, 
and carried a peace-time complement of 777 men. Her main 
armament consisted of four 12-inch guns. 

The end was rapidly approaching now, and on November 12, 
1918, the Allied fleets passed through the Dardanelles in fine 
weather. British and Indian troops occupying the forts were 
paraded as the ships passed. The fleet arrived off Constantinople 
at 8 a. m. on November 13, 1918. This was the fourth time in 
a century that British battleships passed through the Darda- 
nelles and arrived before Constantinople on a mission of war. 

It was 7.30 in the morning, according to the special corre- 
spondent of the London "Times," that the flagship Superb was 
sighted in the Sea of Marmora, steaming slowly toward the 
entrance of the Bosporus, Behind her came the TemerairCy 
bearing General Sir Henry Wilson, who was to command the 
garrisons of Allied troops in the forts of the Dardanelles and 
Bosporus. The Lord Nelson and the Agamemnon were next, 
and then followed, in an imposing procession of line ahead, the 
cruisers, destroyers, and other craft making up the British 
squadron. Half an hour's steaming behind them, a distance that 
was diminished toward the end, came the French squadron in 
similar formation. Then followed the Italian and Greek war- 


At the entrance to the Bosporus the fleet divided into two 
parts. The Superb and Temermre, followed by two French 
battleships, came on as a silent line of great gray ships 
and anchored close to the European shore of the Straits, within 
near view of the Sultan's palace and the Turkish Chamber of 
Deputies. The two French battleships dropped anchor astern 
of them, and then followed the battleships of Italy and Greece. 
The rest of the Allied fleet was placed round the corner of the 
Bosporus in the Sea of Marmora, and at noon the whole fleet 
was to weigh anchor again and go to its prepared base in the 
Gulf of Ismid. 

General Sir Henry Wilson soon afterward landed on the quay. 
He was received by Djevad Pasha, Turkish Chief of Staff, and 
on the quay were drawn up a guard of honor of several hundred 
British and Indian prisoners of war in their light-colored clothes 
of blanket cloth. Massed everywhere, as near as the Turkish 
police would let them come, were dense crowds of the population 
of Constantinople. 

We now come to one of the most dramatic incidents of the war, 
as far as it affected the naval forces. Early in November, 1918, 
the mighty German fleet at Kiel had revolted. Soon after that 
came the cessation of hostilities, following on the signing of the 
armistice. Included in the terms of the latter were, it will be 
recalled, certain severe provisions concerning the surrender of 
a large part of the German naval forces. The time for carrying 
out these provisions had now been reached. 

At sunrise of November 20, 1918, twenty German submarines 
were surrendered to Rear Admiral Reginald W. Tyrwhitt of the 
British navy thirty miles off Harwich. These were the first 
U-boats to be turned over to the Allies by Germany. Admiral 
Tyrwhitt received the surrender of the German craft on board 
his flagship, the Curagao. The submarines proceeded to Harwich 
in charge of their own crews. They were then boarded by British 
crews and interpreters, and proceeded to Parkston Quay, near by. 
Twenty additional submarines were to be surrendered on the fol- 
lowing day. Other U-boats were handed over later in accordance 
with the armistice terms. 




A MOST dramatic event was the surrender of the German 
High Seas Fleet. The British Grand Fleet, accompanied 
by an American battle squadron and French cruisers, steamed 
out before dawn in the morning of November 21, 1918, from its 
Scottish base to accept the surrender of the German battleships, 
battle cruisers, and destroyers. The point of rendezvous for the 
Allied and German sea forces was between thirty and forty 
miles east of May Island, opposite the Firth of Forth. The fleet 
which witnessed the surrender consisted of some 400 ships, in- 
cluding sixty dreadnoughts, fifty light cruisers, and nearly 200 
destroyers. Admiral Sir David Beatty, commander of the 
Grand Fleet, was on the Queen Elizabeth, The German war- 
ships, strung out in a single column almost twenty miles long, 
were led into the Firth of Forth between twin columns of Allied 
ships which overlapped the Germans at each end. 

The main Allied fleet, extending over a line fourteen miles long 
in the Firth of Forth, began to weigh anchor at 1 o'clock in 
the morning. The Scotch mist which for days had obscured the 
harbor was swept away by a stiff breeze, and the moon shone 
brilliantly out of a clear sky. The ships quickly took their sta- 
tions in the long double line they held throughout the day. 
British battle cruisers led the way, followed by dreadnoughts. 
Admiral Beatty 's flagship, the Queen Elizabeth, led the squadron 
in the northern column. Five American battleships, the New 
York, Texas, Arkansas, Wyoming, and Florida, commanded by 
Rear Admiral Hugh Rodman, fell into line behind Admiral 
Beatty's craft, balancing a British squadron similar in power 
in the opposite file. All the battleships of the Allies were 
ready for instant action in case of treachery on the part of 
the Germans. 

The rendezvous was approximately fifty miles distant and the 
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8 o'clock. At 5 o'clock a signal summoned the men to battle sta- 
tions, and, except the officers on the bridges, the ships' companies 
were hidden behind bulwarks of steel. When dawn broke, the 
sea was again covered with mist, which reduced the visibility 
to less than 8,000 yards. 

Eyes straining through the murky haze finally were rewarded. 
Off the starboard bow, the Cardiff, trailing an observation kite 
balloon, came steaming in. Close behind her came the first of the 
German ships, the great battle cruiser Seydlitz, which was flying 
the flag of Commodore Togert. After her came four others of 
the same type, the Derfflinger, Von der Tann, Hindenburg, and 
Moltke, They moved along three cable lengths apart. 

Immediately following them were nine dreadnoughts, the 
Friedrich der Grosse, flagship of Rear Admiral von Reuter; the 
Koenig Albert, Kaiser, Kronprinz Wilhelm, Kaiserin, Bayern, 
Markgraf, Prinzregent Luitpold, and the Grosser Kurfurst, 
Three miles astern of the battleships came seven light cruisers, 
the Karlsruhe, bearing the ensign of Commodore Harder; the 
Frankfort, Emden, Nurnberg, Brummer, Coin, and Bremen. 
Then came another gap of three miles and German destroyers 
came steaming in, five columns abreast, with ten destroyers to 
a column. 

Every vessel steaming out to meet them flew battle ensigns 
and was ready for instant action, with its men at battle stations 
and guns in position. 

Six miles separated the Allied columns, and squarely between 
them the Cardiff brought her charges, all steaming at the stipu- 
lated speed of ten knots. As ordered, their guns were in regular 
fore-and-aft positions, and, as far as powerful glasses could 
determine, there was no sign to provoke suspicion. Until all 
the major ships had been swallowed up in the enveloping Allied 
columns, the latter never for a moment relaxed their alert watch. 
Over the Germans circled a British dirigible, which acted as eyes 
for the Allied ships, which, although the fog had lifted, were still 
too distant for accurate observation. 

When the leading German ship had reached the western end 
of the flanking columns the Allied ships put about in squadrons. 


Quickly re-forming their lines, they proceeded to escort the enemy 
into the Firth of Forth. By noon the last wisp of fog had dis- 
persed and a splendid view of the vast array of war craft could 
be obtained. Holding steadily to its course, the great fleet 
reached May Island at 2 o'clock. The captive Germans were 
piloted to anchorages assigned to them and British ships from 
the northern column steamed on to the regular anchorages higher 
up the Firth. 

Inspection parties from the Grand Fleet boarded the Germans 
to make sure that all conditions of the armistice were observed. 
The enemy vessels were to be interned in Scapa Flow. Part of 
the crews were to remain for maintenance work and the re- 
mainder were to be returned to Germany soon. 

The total tonnage surrendered, exclusive of submarines, 
amounted to approximately 420,000, divided as follows: Battle 
cruisers, 121,000 tons ; dreadnoughts, 225,000 tons ; light cruisers, 
43,000 tons, and destroyers, 30,000. 

Even after the cessation of hostilities there was still plenty of 
work to do for the naval forces of the Allies. After the occupa- 
tion of Constantinople, already described, Allied ships occupied 
Odessa on November 26, 1918, and on the same day anchored off 
Sebastopol, the Russian naval base in the Crimea. There they 
took over the Russian ships, then in the hands of the Germans, 
as well as some German submarines. 

In the Baltic, too, British and other Allied ships made their 
appearance. On December 3, 1918, a British squadron, consist- 
ing of twenty-two ships and including destroyers, cruisers, mine 
sweepers, and transport steamers, were reported to have arrived 
in the port of Libau in Courland. At midnight on December 4, 
1918, one of these ships, the British light cruiser Cassandi-a, 
of 6,000 tons, struck a mine and sank within an hour with a loss 
of eleven men. A few days later, on December 6, 1918, it was 
announced that some of these ships had successfully bombarded, 
from the Gulf of Finland, front and rear positions held by the 
Bolsheviki forces in Esthonia, stopping their advance 



American achievements on the 
western front 



THE glory of our accomplishment in France lies in tntr titanic 
energy and natural resourcefulness of our people which were 
applied with a unity of purpose which surprised even ourselves. 
It is possible for us to exaggerate our part in assisting the Allies 
to final victory, and it is also possible for us to underestimate our 

If England had not entered the war in 1914, and if Italy and 
Rumania had not entered later, and if Canada and Australia 
and the British dominions had not put forth all their strength, 
and if the United States had not sent an army to France, the 
Germans would have won. The balance of victory and failure 
at times hung by a thread. While Americans must always realize 
that comparatively we suffered slightly beside Britain and France 
and Italy, and that the Canadians were the veterans of cruel and 
wicked fighting in holding the western front against the enemy 
in the height of his confidence, numbers, and efficiency, no one 
will gainsay that at the end of the conflict we were giving our 
lives as freely as our neighbors and Allies. 

Any consideration of our accomplishment must include the fact 
that we were as unprepared in April, 1917, for any immense mili- 
tary effort as we had been in August, 1914. While the world 
witnessed the British making citizen armies out of raw material 



by slow and costly processes, our governmental policy, to the 
regret of many of our people, had not been to profit by the 
application of their experience in view of the emergency which 
seemed inevitable to many observers, but, as neutrals, to keep 
ourselves free from any imputation of militaristic aims. 

Once we were in the war, the policy of our Government was to 
put all our preparations in the hands of the regular army and to 
assist the Allies in every way that was in our power. Our people 
had learned from observation of the European war that modem 
warfare required expert direction, and with a unanimity that 
was startling in a democracy which had always resisted any 
efforts to form a large army in our country we welcomed the 
national draft and a centralization of authority in the hands of 
the President and army chiefs which was out of keeping with all 
our precedents. 

Our training camps were to repeat under the draft the slow 
and wearisome business of training not only men but officers to 
command them at the same time that we were building new fac- 
tories and plants to supply the army with ordnance and with 
ships to transport men and material to France. As the Allies had 
waited on England to become prepared, they must now wait on 
the United States ; and in the crisis of their fortunes, when the 
Germans had had repeated successes, they faced the question of 
whether or not the resources of the United States in men and 
material could be transformed into a force that could be exerted 
by sea against the submarine or on the western front in time 
to prevent a German victory. 

The sending of Major General John J. Pershing to France 
with a pioneer staff in May, 1917, had for its military purpose 
the huge and time-consuming task of preparing the way for 
the troops that were to arrive as soon as we had them trained, 
and the immediate object of assuring the people of the Allies 
that we meant to make active warfare on the western front. 
Although we had relieved the financial stress of the Allies by our 
loans, and with the removal of our interference with the British 
blockade we had strengthened the wall around Germany, we 
were incapable for the first eight months of striking any blow 


iof account against the enemy except through the flotilla of de- 
stroyers which we had sent to cooperate with the British navy 
in combating the submarine. Considering that the French and 
British had over three million troops on the western front, the 
total of our regular army of one hundred thousand men, if all 
had been immediately dispatched to France, would hardly have 
been an important military factor. In a war where such enor- 
mous numbers were engaged, though we might have ten million 
able-bodied men in the United States, they were of no combat 
service against the enemy until they were in France, armed and 

The French offensive, in the early spring of 1917, had failed 
with the result that France was depressed and that all observers 
agreed that it was not in the power of the exhausted French 
army to undertake another offensive. The Germans, after their 
retreat across the old Somme battle fields, had stood firm on 
the Hindenburg hne. Despite their losses they had sufficient 
force on the western front to assure, unless there was some un- 
expected break in their morale, their retention of their positions 
in face of the determined attacks of the British in their summer 
offensives, culminating in the bloody ridge of Passchendaele, 
which were made not in the expectation of any decision, but to 
hold German divisions off from the Italian front, from an effort 
to crush Rumania, an effort against Saloniki and from exploita- 
tion of their successes in Russia. 

With Russia out of the war, Rumania crippled, the Servian 
army reduced to a small body of veterans and the Italian offen- 
sive making no decisive progress, it was evident that unless 
Germany could be starved into submission by the blockade, 
which seemed out of the question from the information in 
possession of Allied councils, we must have a fighting force in 
France which should be as strong as either that of the British 
or the French while its transport across the Atlantic through 
the submarine zone was by no means assured. Trusting to no 
adventitious event to make so large an army unnecessary, Gen- 
eral Pershing and his staff, after they had studied the situation 
and conferred with the Allied command, decided that their duty, 


as pioneers was to prepare for the operations in France of an 
army of at least one million men with the communications and 
plant for their support capable of expansion for the care of 
two million men. 

As the Allies throughout the war had depended very largely 
for war material upon America and overseas countries, it was 
essential that we should be capable of largely providing for our 
army from the resources of our own country. With the French 
railway system strained to capacity, and France suffering from 
a shortage of labor behind the lines, owing to all her able-bodied 
males being in active service, we must furnish transportation 
as well as labor from home. Despite the strong influences 
brought to bear to have our soldiers introduced by regiments 
and battalions into the French and British armies, it was our 
duty, not only to our national spirit but to our conception of 
our duty to the Allies, to form an integral American army which 
should fight as a unit in the same manner that the British and 
French armies were fighting. 

A glance at the map of the whole western front, in reference 
to the coast line and the harbors of France and its railway 
systems, will readily indicate to any observer the strategic 
character of the conception of General Pershing in 1917, which 
had its cHmax of success in November, 1918. The British army 
was on the left of the long battle line from Switzerland to 
Flanders, with its bases close to the Channel and home bases. 
The French army was to hold the center of the line, fighting for 
the heart of France, and on the right the American army, draw- 
ing its supplies three thousand miles across the sea and across 
southern and central France, was to face the Rhine. 

For any great final Allied offensive, unless some unforeseen 
circumstance favored, the Allies must wait upon the formation of 
an army of American citizens who would be made approximately 
as capable in all the complicated technique of modern warfare 
as the French and British armies. That this achievement was 
possible we knew because of the success of the British new 
army, and particularly that of the Canadians, who had not even 
had as much military preparation as the Australians, but had 


learned at the cannon's mouth the lessons of experience which 
no amount of theory or practice can approximate. 

As the early introduction of small American forces into the 
Allied armies must be of relatively small effect in their relation 
to the immense whole, ample time must be taken for the train- 
ing and preparation in order to assure the exertion of a maxi- 
mum of pressure when we should begin to fight in earnest. It 
was equally important both for the effect upon Allied and Ger- 
man sentiment that when we did begin active campaigning there 
should be no setbacks for our army. According to the promise 
which we had made to the French Government we were due to 
have by July 1, 1918, some five hundred thousand troops in 
France. Even that number, when you include all the men who 
were required along the lines of communication, seemed a small 
force on the continent of Europe, and, at the time that this 
program was arranged, the suggestion of a million men in 
France was probably considered seriously only by the officers 
who were on the ground. 

The first American troops to arrive in France was the 1st 
Division of regulars (then under command of Sibert) , including 
the brigade of Marines. They were very largely raw recruits, 
in no sense a highly trained regular division; they were to be 
followed by regular divisions and National Guard divisions, 
wliich were to be established in their drill grounds for periods 
of training before entering the trenches. 

Indeed the history of our operations may be divided into 
three phases: 

The first was the period of preparation and training and of 
trench experience of the earlier divisions and of the organization 
of our general staff, the instruction of our reserve officers in the 
various schools and in the actual work at the front, and inaugu- 
rating the immense constructive work required for our lines of 
communication. Through the winter of 1917-18, whether drilling 
in the muddy fields of Lorraine or holding trenches, our men, 
in the penetrating, moist, and cold climate, knew as great hard- 
ships as any veteran of the Civil War or of the Revolution. 
Lorraine was aptly called our "Valley Forge" in France. It 


was a winter of discouragement including the disaster to the 
Italian army, the increasing submarine ravages, the want of 
shipping to keep up the program of troop transport, the failure 
of supplies to arrive, the final collapse of Russia and Rumania, 
the depression among the French and Italian people, the severe 
food restrictions in England, and the gathering of the German 
armies with their superior numbers for the great offensives for 
the spring of 1918. 

So serious did the Allies consider the situation that they were 
willing to offer Germany a very favorable peace, but Germany, 
confident that the Americans could not exert their pressure in 
time and that Allied spirits were depressed to a point when at 
any moment Allied disagreement might lead to an Allied col- 
lapse, refused to consider the offers. History offers nothing in the 
record of great wars in affording more contrast than the pes- 
simism in the inner councils of the Allies in the winter of 1917- 
18, and the spring of 1918, in comparison with the complete 
victory which was achieved in the fall of 1918. 

Our second phase came with the first of the German offensives 
on March 21, 1918, against the British army. The success of 
this offensive startled the people of the Allied world to a full 
realization of the perilous situation of their cause. It was an 
innovation in tactics in that the Germans had swept through 
the front lines and support lines of the trench system, capturing 
the guns whose answering artillery fire had hitherto been the 
main reliance of the defense in stopping the enemy's charges, 
and carrying the warfare into the open. We had then only four 
divisions which had been in the trenches, Bullard's 1st Regulars 
and Bundy's 2d Regulars and Marines and Edwards's 26th, or 
New England, and Menoher's 42d, or Rainbow, National Guard 
Divisions. The plan had been to put them into a permanent 
American sector in Lorraine, but in face of this new emergency 
they were to be turned over to the French for such use as Mar- 
shal Foch, the new commander in chief of the Allied forces, 
might decide to make of them. 

Up to this time the phrase "Too proud to fight" had haunted 
the minds of the Allied peoples when they thought of Ameri- 


can troops. They considered that we had been very slow 
in beginning active warfare. Our losses in the quiet trenches 
that we had occupied had been thus far normally slight com- 
pared with those in an active battle sector. There was a dis- 
position to think that probably America was not sufficiently in 
earnest to make any great sacrifice of lives. We were willing 
to loan the Allies money, to supply them with materials of war 
and to make some show of military force ; but the contemplation 
of a nation three thousand miles away from Europe fighting 
with all the heroic disregard of life of the Allies on their own 
soil seemed a little out of keeping with the accepted traditions 
of military history to Europeans. 

Never were soldiers watched with more critical interest or 
deeper appreciation of the influence of the result than our divi- 
sions when they were first engaged in violent action at Cantigny 
and in the Chateau-Thierry operations in the course of the trying 
months of the German offensives and the subsequent Allied 
counteroffensives. Not only had the Europeans wondered if we 
would fight, but they had grave doubts of our battle skill. The 
seriousness of the situation deepened their concern. Anyone 
who really knew America had no doubt that we would fight. At 
the same time thoughtful Americans, familiar with the in- 
creasingly difficult technique which was the accumulation of 
more than three years' experience, when they thought of how 
relatively little experience our citizen soldiers had had, saw 
them go into action beside veteran French and British divisions 
with misgivings lest their skill might not be in keeping with 
their valor. Their initiative and furious application led to more 
rapid learning than the most optimistic of their teachers had 

The American army had been trained for the offensive. We 
had, at the start, the natural initiative which the Canadians had 
so abundantly shown, and which in the introduction of the 
trench raid they applied in the only innovation of tactics with 
the exception of the tanks which the British army developed. 
The Canadians, coming from a more sparsely settled country 
than ours, with a larger percentage of its citizens of English- 


speaking origin than we have, if we except the French Canadian 
population, had the advantage, in the views of many, over 
American forces which must include a large number of draft 
men unfamiliar with the English language who had had only; 
a brief residence in the United States. 

If the American army was to be the decisive army owing to 
its youth and its numbers, then there must never enter any 
thought into our minds other than that once we were prepared 
for action that action should be continuously one of attack. If 
the old German trench line were to be broken and the war of 
movem.ent were again to lead to an Appomattox for the German 
army that could only be won by tactics which, with unwavering 
determination, would eventually capitalize German exhaustion 
after four years of war in the conviction on the part of German 
soldiers that resistance against the immense forces of American 
reserves that were coming was hopeless. In brief, America 
must show the Germans that millions of Americans, who had 
the spirit of the Canadians, were to follow the Canadians 
across the Atlantic. 

The greatest difficulty that Allied commanders had had was 
keeping soldiers from falling into the habit of trench defensive, 
which was the result of the early days of murderous fighting, 
when all attempts either by the Germans or the Allies to "break 
through" had failed. Our hope was that our soldiers would 
have the good fortune to escape the fearful attrition of trench 
fighting and that our offensive spirit would suffer no setbacks 
in actual experience. 

Where we had been in the trenches we had insistently kept 
the upper hand over the enemy, meeting his trench raids with 
better than he gave, answering his artillery fire with heavier 
artillery fire and pressing him at every point. No feature of war 
is more underestimated than psychology. The psychology of con- 
viction that you are going to win, confirmed by actual victory 
in the first shock of arms, is one of the best guaranties of con- 
tinued victory. 

Happily, our divisions, which were transferred to the active 
battle front in western France, were able to apply their offensive 


spirit with immediate offensive results. At Cantigny, on the eve 
of the third German offensive, in our first attack we took all of 
our objectives skillfully, and when the 2d Division was thrown 
across the Paris road to resist the advance of the Germans which 
was then slowing down, our men, who were in the pink of youth- 
ful vigor, immediately attacked. They were on a comparatively 
short front, but their conduct thrilled all the Allied soldiers and 
people with the rallying conviction that the Americans had 
brought to France a telling new energy into an old war. The 
British who had stood out stubbornly against the mighty Ger- 
man thrusts felt more than ever confidence due to the presence of 
American divisions with their army. More important than 
generals or staff, the American individual soldier stood in no awe 
of his enemy, but, on the contrary, was confident of his personal 
superiority. It needed no urging from his officers for him to 
attack. When in doubt his idea was to charge. Again, the 
3d Division in the defense of the Marne bridgeheads at Chateau- 
Thierry, though it had had no trench experience and had never 
been under fire before, simply confirmed the quality which the 
old divisions had exemplified as something that was a common 

Against the great fifth German offensive the 42d, or Rain- 
bow Division, which was represented with the National Guard 
of our twenty-six States and was conscious of holding the honor 
of the National Guard and of the honor of America in its keep- 
ing, showed that if stubborn resistance was requisite as well as 
attack they could be depended upon. Dickman's 3d Division, 
against that same offensive, broke the German crossing of the 
Marne and then, when the front line battalions had lost one- 
third to one-half of its men, counterattacked with a dexterity 
and a viciousness that thrilled the most veteran and phlegmatic 
of military critics. 

For the Allied counteroffensive, which was the turning of the 
tide against the German offensives, the French High Command 
chose that the 1st (now under command of Summerall) and 
2d (now under command of Harbord) Divisions, should co- 
operate with the best of French divisions in the drive toward 

5Var St. 8— Kc 


Soissons which was to force the gradual evacuation of the 
Germans of the Marne salient. 

This operation and the operations that preceded it in resisting 
the German offensives were all known to the general public as 
Chateau-Thierry, which is the name of the town lying in the 
lap of the hills on the bank of the Marne. No American soldiers 
ever fought in Chateau-Thierry with the exception of the ma- 
chine-gun battalion of the 3d Division, which was in the town 
very briefly in a rear-guard action before retiring with its 
French associates to the other side of the Marne to prevent the 
Germans from crossing. In the counteroffensive it was the 
French who retook the town without any fighting as it was no 
longer defensible once the surrounding hills had been taken, and 
in their taking we assisted. But for all the splendid work of our 
divisions in the second battle of the Marne, as it is sometimes 
called, Chateau-Thierry has become the accepted name. Any 
one of the eight divisions engaged in the operations which be- 
gan with the defense of Paris and ended with driving the 
Germans back to their old line was at Chateau-Thierry in the 
accepted sense of the term. 

General Pershing had been convinced that the Manie salient, 
which extended into the Allied line in an immense pocket, not 
only from its configuration invited attack, but that the Germans 
had so far extended themselves in their giant efforts that the 
tables could be easily turned. If he had been slow to enter his 
divisions into active sectors until they had been trained, he was 
now, in face of this opportunity, not only prepared to send in his 
trained divisions, but to send in divisions which had only re- 
cently arrived. By this time we were beginning to feel the 
accumulated results of the work of our ti-aining camps at home 
in forming our untrained citizens into battalions and regiments 
and divisions, and we were having the actual results in France 
of the full awakening of the American people and the Allies to 
the danger of defeat which the German offensives had brought, 
and the shipping which had been provided for at the Abbeville 
Conference of the Allied statesmen and commanders was rush- 
ing the men from our training camps to Europe with a speed 


that surpassed the transport program by two to one by mid- 

Instead of five hundred thousand in July, 1918, we had 
a million ; and the two million would soon follow. 

The indefatigable industry of our workers, in preparation for 
the reception of vast hosts which at the inception of the great 
plan seemed visionary, now appeared as the most practical kind 
of prevision, a prevision which was to play an important part 
in winning the war. By results we had answered the fears of 
all skeptics. All the way from the North Sea, over four hundred 
miles to Switzerland, the traveler saw American soldiers behind 
the line; and they were scattered through all the villages of 
France. We had ten divisions who had been assigned to the 
British, we had soldiers in training in the Ypres salient on the 
old Somme battle field, in Champagne, in the Woevre, in Lor- 
raine, and in the forests of the Vosges Mountains in sight of the 
Alps. The transports were disembarking men by the thousands 
every day and railroad trains were dispatching our divisions 
here and there with a frequency that left it out of the question 
that any man or woman in France should not now realize by their 
own observation that America was in the war in earnest and 
she was bringing her man power to bear on the battle front. 

Our project for an army of our own had been abandoned for 
the time being in order to meet the emergency due to the 
German offensives. The American effort in France had been 
that of many scattered divisions called to fill breaches and then 
sent into the attack in order to make the most of the turn of 
the tide. We could not have an American army in our own 
sector until these detached divisions had assisted in making 
sure that Paris was forever out of danger, and that there was 
not enough spirit or force left in the German armies to under- 
take an offensive of any kind. 

The situation of our forces meanwhile was unique and 
amazingly difficult. The British had their line from thirty to 
seventy-five miles from the coast which was only an hour's ride 
away from England itself, and the French were in their own 
country wherever they went. But the nearest homes of our 


soldiers were three thousand miles away and the homes of some 
of them were five and six thousand miles. When they received 
''leaves" they could not go to visit their families as the British 
and French might. While the British were in their permanent 
sector with all the system of supplies regularly established, our 
soldiers might be one day serving with the British arm^y and 
the next day with the French ; they knew the weariness of long 
I'ides on railway trains, billets in barns and haylofts, and no 
home associations except that of their own companionship and 
that supplied by the Red Cross, the Y. M. C. A., the Knights 
of Columbus, and the Salvation Army. They were under the 
strictest kind of censorship, their mail took weeks to reach 
France and then followed them about from place to place in 
trying to overtake them. 

The rapidity with which they were being brought across the 
seas in unexpected numbers into a land which had suffered the 
strain of war for four years led to confusion and discomfort 
under the fearful pressure of the forthcoming tremendous 
effort which was to use all the will power, energy, and brains 
of every man that America had in France. 

For we were now to know no rest until the armistice was 
signed. After the 1st and 2d Divisions had fought themselves to 
utter exhaustion in the drive to Soissons with a loss of nearly 
50 per cent of their infantry, the work of reducing the salient 
fell upon the "Yankee" 26th Division, which had been hurried 
from a long tour in the mud and misery of the Toul sector, 
upon Muir'is "Iron" 28th Division of Pennsylvania National 
Guard, coming fresh from the drill grounds bac> of the British 
front to the drive toward the Ourcq, upon the redoubtable 
3d Division, which, despite its losses in resisting the German 
crossing of the Marne, took up the counteroffensive with a fiery 

Then the 42d Division swung around to take the place of the 

'Yankee" 26th, after it had fought heroically to exhaustion in 

attacking through more forests and against more machine-gun 

nests, and Haans 32d Division of National Guard from Michigan 

and Wisconsin, ''the Arrows," who always broke the line which 


came down the apron of the hills toward Cierges under artillery 
fire with the jauntiness of parade, conquered the wicked woods 
and heights of the ravines on the other side of the Ourcq in its 
first great action. Hersey's 4th Regular Division with but little 
experience lived up to the record of the other divisions by 
promptly becoming veteran and Duncan's 77th "Liberty" Divi- 
sion, of New York City, the first of the National Army divisions 
to arrive in France and the first to know active battle, pressed 
on to the Vesle. All these gave all the strength they had, all 
fought until in weariness they must accept relief, in that won- 
derful revelation of citizen America turned soldier. 

There was not one of these divisions that did not regret that 
instead of being associated with French divisions they were not 
associated with American divisions. All were ambitious to be 
a part of our own army. They had iinished their Chateau- 
Thierry job ; they had done all that was expected of them ; they 
had met the emergency. Chateau-Thierry had been an intro- 
duction, a preparation, a proof of quality for other and greater 
tasks which commanders had now learned that we could 

Now began the Hegira of our divisions toward our own 
American sector in Lorraine, where all but two, who were with 
the British, were to join them. With the assurance that by the 
first of December we should have more than two million Ameri- 
cans in France while the number of German reserve divisions 
were dwindling and the Germans could hope for no further reen- 
forcements, the offensive of Chateau-Thierry was to be followed 
by the succeeding offensives with which, as opportunity offered. 
Marshal Foch was to conduct his final campaign. Germany had 
no hope now of winning the war. The question was how soon 
it might be won by the Allies. 

With the attack on the Saint Mihiel salient our army entered 
upon its third and greatest phase, which was the cumulation of 
all the plans made in June, 1917. At that time it was considered 
that we should be ready for our first offensive operation as an 
integral force by the autumn of 1918, and the salient was con- 
sidered as its objective; but, as I have said, we had not calcu- 


lated upon a million men by midsummer of 1918, which our lines 
of communication would have to supply, let alone two million 
by November 1, 1918. The requirements laid upon transport 
and supply were more than doubled, while the emergency of 
scattering our divisions to resist the German offensives had 
introduced an unexpected feature, and the strain upon France 
and England, as the result of these offensives, had interfered 
with our receiving as much assistance from them as we might 
have originally expected. 

As officers in France had foreseen, the promises of our am- 
bitious program in the manufacture of aeroplanes, ordnance, 
and material of war at home, could not be fulfilled even by 
the most diligent application of energy and enterprise as 
soon as the War Department had hoped. We were still equip- 
ping all our divisions with British gas masks and helmets. 
Only in the last days of the Chateau-Thierry operations 
had a plane driven by a Liberty motor flown over our 
lines. All our artillery and machine guns were still French. 
The Browning machine guns were only just beginning to ar- 
rive; and we waited upon the American tanks and gas outfits 
and other weapons. 

These handicaps made the successes which were to follow all 
the more remarkable. The increasing forces must all have their 
daily rations, and in the pressure of battle the artillery must 
not lack ammunition, and there must be at all times sufficient 
transport, whether railroad, motor, or horse, in order that the 
supplies should be delivered at the front. Therefore the devel- 
opment of the Service of Supply as a part of the whole project 
must keep pace in capacity and efficiency with the demands of 
the fighting forces. 

Our army's activities were divided into three zones : the base, 
the intermediate, and advance, with that of the base and the 
intermediate in charge of the commanding general of the Service 
of Supply at Tours. Every harbor of western France not 
occupied by the British was teeming with American effort, while 
Marseilles, in the Mediterranean, was caring for our increasing 
business which the Atlantic ports could not accommodate. The 


recruits for the army of the Service of Supply must keep pace 
with those for the army at the front. Battalions of negroes had 
been brought from the Southern States to act as laborers and 
stevedores. We were using German prisoners for labor as fast 
as they were captured. 

At Bordeaux and Saint Nazaire, particularly, among the ports, 
we had built long expanses of wharves and the spur tracks 
which connected them with systems of warehouses. The plan 
had been always to have reserve supplies for forty-five days at 
the base ports ; with thirty days' at the great intermediate depot 
of Gievres, where another vast system of spur tracks and ware- 
houses had been built in open fields, and fifteen days* supplies at 
Ihe regulating stations with their systems of spur tracks and 
warehouses where the trains were made up to meet the imme- 
diate requisitions from the front. Without any prevision as to 
when the war would end, with nothing certain except that we 
must go on preparing as if it were to last for years in order 
the sooner to force the end, new construction, while require- 
ments of the present were met, must keep pace with growth. 
We had car and locomotive assembling shops; motor repair 
shops; salvage depots, remount depots, and immense areas of 
hospitals, with as many as eighteen thousand beds in a single 
area, which had been building in grim expectation of the flow 
yf wounded from the front when we began operations on a large 
scale. Nurses and doctors must be in sufficient numbers for the 

Never had America had such a test of its organizing capacity 
as in its formation of the Service of Supply. Its problems, both 
in number and complexity as well as in the size of the task, 
the amount of material and personnel required, were far greater 
than those of the Panama Canal. The leisure which any under- 
taking permits in carrying out plans and the dependence which 
may be placed upon the receipt of tools and material in time of 
peace were both wanting under the pressure of war. Personnel 
for this enterprise was summoned from our engineers, our busi- 
ness men and experts, and from the ranks of skilled labor in 
every civil branch who were for the first time brought together 


in a national organization in foreign surroundings wliere they 
faced many difficulties with which they were unfamiliar, under 
the direction of the regular army, which had to reconcile all 
policies with the requirements of the front line, and which had 
to expand its imagination and its powers of organization 
from a quartermaster's business of a little regular army to 
the mastery of unparalleled forces in the direction of re- 
serve officers who had been used to handling great business 

Next to the position of General Pershing that of the com- 
manding general of the Service of Supply was the most im- 
portant in France. It was proposed at one time from Washing- 
ton that he should have authority coordinate with General 
Pershing's direct from Washington; but this was strongly op- 
posed on the ground that the commander in chief of the fight- 
ing army must be supreme over every branch if he were to be 
responsible for the success of a campaign. Major General 
James G. Harbord, who had been the first chief of staff of the 
American Expeditionary Force and later commanded the marine 
brigade of the 2d Division and afterward the division itself in 
the Chateau-Thierry operations, was summoned from the front 
late in July, 1918, at a time when the rapid arrival of troops 
from America and the prospects of the terrific demands of the 
campaigns which would ensue made it vital that there should 
oe administrative reform in the Service of Supply by some 
man not only of high organizing ability but with the personal 
quality that inspires coordination among his adjutants, if the 
Service of Supply were to be equal to the enormous demands 
which would be placed upon it in the next few months. 

Whether it was the officers drawn from civil life without 
military training, or the laborers or the privates, every man 
in the Service of Supply wished that he were at the front. 
Hundreds of officers with combat training and thousands of 
soldiers who had been in the training camps found themselves, 
because of their particular efficiency in business organization, 
immured in some particular Service of Supply branch, doing 
long hours of prosaic work in the different camps and shops 


of the base ports and central France without hope, so far as 
they could see, of ever hearing a shot fired. It seemed to them 
frequently that the staff organization of the Service of Supply 
lacked the characteristics of energetic direction and team play 
with which they had been familiar in civil life. They had 
everything to make them discouraged. General Harbord, 
with the reputation he had won as a fighter, his magnetism, 
his understanding of human nature and his capability of 
promptly grasping the essentials of any problem, soon showed 
that he had the talent for transforming the spirit of the per- 
sonnel by applying the indefatigable industry and the patriotic 
spirit of this vast force in a homogeneous corps, without which 
the victory of the American forces in France would not have 
been possible. 

While General Harbord was reorganizing the Service of Sup- 
ply, General Pershing was preparing in haste and under great 
handicaps for the direction of hundreds of thousands of men 
in battle. The division was the fighting unit of our army. It 
went into the trenches and into battle as a division ; was trans- 
ferred from one part of the line to the other as a unit which 
was complete in all its branches, with a personnel of twenty- 
seven thousand men, or about double the size of a British or 
French division. The command of many divisions in battle 
brought us to the question of higher tactics. We had to train 
officers for this high responsibility as well as for leading the 
battalions in the front line. 

According to the original plan we were to have six divisions 
to a corps. Major General Hunter Liggett, as soon as we had 
four divisions in training, had been set the task of organizing 
our first corps. He had a high reputation in the regular army 
as a student and tactician, and he was a man of great poise and 
a most thorough student. The withdrawal of our divisions 
from our Lorraine sector, in order to assist in the defense of 
Paris and later in the counter offensive of July, had allowed 
General Liggett little practical experience. With the rapid 
arrival of our troops other corps staffs were rapidly formed. 
Major General Robert L. Bullard, who had commanded the 


1st Division in the Toul sector and in the attack on Cantigny, 
was given the command of the 3d Corps. For a brief period 
both General Liggett and General Bullard and their staff had 
some experience acting as corps commanders in the Chateau- 
Thierry operations. Not until the Saint Mihiel operations, 
however, had we ever had more than two divisions operating 
together under American command. Meanwhile we had or- 
ganized our First Army, which was under the personal com- 
mand of General Pershing. 

With our new corps and army organization, we were now to 
undertake an attack against the fortifications of one of the 
most formidable positions on the western front with a shorter 
period of preparation than had been generally accepted as nec- 
essary by the veteran French and British armies whose staffs 
had had four years' training under actual battle conditions. 
The experts, whether in the gaining of intelligence, in the han- 
dling of traffic, or in the highly complex technique of the 
arrangements for the liaison of artillery and infantry and 
aviation and all the other branches of uniformity of opera- 
tions between the divisions, were to apply in practice what 
they had learned in theory and by observation of the Allied 
armies. Their theory had been learned at the staff school of 
Langres, solving problems of combat organization and listening 
to lectures by staff officers of other armies; but theory is not 

Since 1915 there had been no important action from Verdun 
to the Swiss border. The wedge of the Saint Mihiel salient, 
which the Germans had won in 1914 with its commanding 
hills and ridges, had remained an eyesore on the map of the 
western front. Aside from its strong natural positions it was 
defended by the most elaborate of modern fortifications. By 
the criterion of precedents of previous offensives against front- 
line positions we should succeed in our undertaking only at an 
immense cost of life, should the Germans decide to make a 
determined defense. Until a few days before the attack we 
had every expectation that they would. The original plan was 
that we should go through to Mars-la-Tour and Etain until we 


were before the great German fortress of Metz. Marshal Foch 
changed this plan, as we shall see. 

By the time we had finished the Saint Mihiel operations 
the chilling fall rains would have begun in earnest. These 
would not only expose the men, but would Impede transport. We 
should use the winter months for applying the lessons learned 
in our first offensive in the forming of our organization for 
the greater offensive which was to begin in the spring of 1919 
and continue until we had won a decision. For in 1919 it was 
the American army with its inexhaustible reserves and the 
vigor of its youth which was due to do the leading and to en- 
dure accordingly heavy losses. The artillery, the machine guns, 
the tanks, and all the other material which we had been manu- 
facturing at home as it arrived through the winter of 1918 
we should incorporate into our organization. 

Marshal Foch, who desired the complete success of the Saint 
Mihiel offensive as a part of his plan, had assigned to the Ameri- 
can army, under General Pershing*s command, ample forces 
in addition to our own artillery and aviation. While French 
divisions were to mark time at the apex of the salient before 
following up our attack, the American divisions from right 
to left, the 90th, 5th, 2d, 89th, 42d, and 1st were to swing in 
on the eastern side of the salient, with the 82d as a pivot and 
the 26th Division, cooperating with French troops, was to swing 
in on the western side. For the first time our army corps and 
divisional artillery were to cooperate in a preliminary bombard- 
ment in cutting the barbed wire, encountering the enemy's artil- 
lery fire, and to prepare the way for the charge of a long line of 
American infantry in the first attack of an American army as an 
army on the continent of Europe. For the first time the respon- 
sibility for command all the way from the front line through all 
the headquarters up to that other commander in chief was ours. 
The French staff officers were at hand with their advice and 
information, but ours was the decision and the battle was ours. 

By the morning of September 12, 1918, the Germans, in view 
of the strength of our forces and of the pressure on other parts 
ot their line, had decided not to make strong resistance in the 


Saint Mihiel salient. Indeed, they contemplated a rear-guard 
action in withdrawal, but not expecting that we would attack 
on the 12th, owing to rainy weather, we practically caught 
them before their withdrawal had begun, with the result that 
the impetuosity of the attack of our men, who forced their way 
through stretches of barbed wire which the artillery fire had 
not cut, cleared both the first and second lines of defense on 
schedule time and gathered in prisoners and guns out of all 
keeping to their losses. On the morning of the 13th, troops 
of the 26th Division and the 1st Division, swinging in from the 
east and west, had come together and the Saint Mihiel salient 
was no more. Our success had been complete and inexpensive. 
It thrilled the Allied armies with fresh confidence in our arms 
when they saw that the angle on the old line of the map had 
been straightened and the German people, to whom the Saint 
Mihiel salient had become equally a symbol, were accordingly 

Already, instead of looking forward to months of prepara- 
tion for the next offensive, our army had begun preparations for 
another offensive which was to begin only thirteen days after 
that of Saint Mihiel. Marshal Foch had decided before the 
Saint Mihiel attack to change his plan, and instead of going 
through to Mars-la-Tour and Etain, only to cut the salient, 
withdrawing surplus troops for action elsewhere. In conjunc- 
tion with the Fourth French Army, which was to attack from the 
left, we were to attack from the Argonne Forest to the Meuse 
River in the greatest battle in which Americans had ever been 
engaged. Following the success of the Chateau-Thierry offen- 
sive in which our troops had played a part, the British 
Canadians and the French had had continuing success in their 
offensives beginning on August 8, 1918. Our 32d Division had 
increased the reputation which it had won in the fighting on 
the Ourcq by assisting the French in breaking the old front-line 
positions northeast of Soissons. 

The Allies had now regained practically all the ground that 
the Germans had won in their spring and summer offensives. 
In places they had penetrated the Hindenburg line. The Bel- 


gian as well ,as the British and French armies were about to 
take the offensive. The German losses in prisoners and ma- 
terial in the last month indicated a decline in German morale. 
Information confirmed the idea that Hindenburg, with his rapidly 
weakening reserves, was contemplating a withdrawal to the line 
of the Meuse. Every consideration called upon the Allied armies 
to stretch their resources in men and material to the utmost 
in order to take advantage of the situation. For the first time 
since the war had begun on the western front they completely 
had the initiative. 

The next step was to broaden the front of the Allied attacks, 
further confusing Ludendorff in his dispositions, and breaking 
through the Hindenburg line and all the old front-line positions 
which the Germans had held for four years, to force the offen- 
sive in the open, where rapid maneuvers could harass the effort 
of the Germans in withdrawing their forces and the material 
which they had accumulated through four years, and by re^ 
peated blows continue to weaken their morale until a positive 
decision was won. 

If Ludendorff were given leisure for a deliberate retreat 
to a shorter line which he could fortify during the winter 
while his army recovered its spirit, this shorter line would 
give him all the advantage which serves the defense in deepei* 
concentrations of troops to the mile with less room for th^ 
offensive to maneuver for surprises. 

All the Allied offensives — ^Champagne, Loos, the Somme, 
Arras, and Passchendaele — had been made to the west of the 
Argonne Forest, because of the advantage of ground. To the 
east, facing the Rhine, the Germans had their great fortress 
of Metz, and the positions in Lorraine and the Vosges Moun- 
tains and the wedge of Saint Mihiel, which had seemed un- 
conquerable. The Meuse River winds past Saint Mihiel through 
the town of Verdun, then northward where it turns westward 
toward Sedan. All the way from Saint Mihiel, including the 
hills of the forts of Verdun, which look out on the plain of the 
Woevre with the fortress of Metz in the distance, runs a 
rampart of heights clear to the great bastion of the Forest of 


Argonne, where the country becomes more rolling, and there- 
fore better ground for military operations. 

The line of our second offensive was to be from the Meuse 
River just west of Verdun to the western edge of the Argonne 
Forest. Anyone who looks at the map of the old line of th^ 
western front and of the enemy's railroad communications' 
would say at once that this was the obvious line for an offensive. 
The Metz-Lille railway line, two-track all the way, and in places 
four-track, runs through Sedan and Mezieres, following the 
Meuse Valley where it turns westward. This was the most 
important southern transversal line that the Germans had for 
supplying their armies in eastern France and connecting them 
with the coal fields of northern France. Northeast of the 
Meuse-Argonne positions were the famous Briey iron fields 
on which the Germans were dependent for their supplies of 
ore for the Krupp works. A blow toward Mezieres and 
toward Briey was a blow at the heart of German military 

The Germans fully realized the danger in this direction and 
knew, as our generals knew, how thoroughly it was protected. 
They had all the advantage of rail connections in hastening 
their reserves to this point if the Allies had made an advance 
in this direction. In 1916 or 1917 the Germans would have 
welcomed the Meuse-Argonne offensive, in the confidence that 
the AlHed attacks would have suffered as bloody repulses as 
the Germans suffered at Verdun against the same kind of 
positions. The front German line was in the southern paii: of 
the Forest of Argonne with its ravines and hills covered with 
dense undergrowth. And back of this was still another great 
forest, that of Bourgogne. Offensives against even small 
patches of woods had proved the hopelessness of any frontal 
attack against forests. 

East of the Argonne Forest is the little river Aire, its valley 
forming a trough between the hills, and between that and the 
Meuse for a distance of about ten miles the German line, which 
had been placed in the retreat from the Marne, had at its 
jear a whaleback of rising heights which reached their summit 


in the neighborhood of Buzancy. From this summit it was 
downhill all the way to the Meuse River. It was this summit 
which the American army must gain in advancing over ground 
in which nature seemed to have had in mind the possibilities of 
modem warfare in defense. The heights would give observa- 
tion for the enemy guns which were hidden on the reverse 
slopes. Numerous patches of woods and tricky ravines made 
ideal positions for machine-gun nests. One position gained, 
the victor still looked ahead to higher ground. The enemy 
could always bring his reserves up under cover while those of 
the attacking force would be in full view. 

The soldiers of our new army had shown that they had the 
spirit of attack. Marshal Foch was to give them the oppor- 
tunity to display it to the utmost, and in the conference which 
he and General Pershing held before the battle of Saint Mihiel 
one of the great decisions of the war was made. We were to 
send partly trained divisions into a conflict in winter rains and 
under incalculable hardships in the faith that our courage, 
exerted to its utmost in the fall of 1918, might break the weak- 
ening German army before it could recover its spirit, while the 
losses which this effort entailed would save us from far greater 
losses in the spring and the prolongation of the war. Though 
we should never reach the summit of those heights, the threat 
which we should make against the German line of communica- 
tions must withdraw more and more German troops from other 
parts of the line, and keep on increasing the confusion of 
Ludendorff^s dispositions. 

The only American comparison for the Meuse-Argonne Battle 
was the Appomattox campaign which lasted much longer and 
consisted of a series of separate actions with nothing like the 
concentration and continuous fighting which the Americans of 
another generation were to endure. Grant had no lack of 
supplies, he had more guns than he could use and was fighting 
on his own soil with ample resources in reserve within easy 
reach. Pershing's army was not relatively as ready for the task 
that it was to undertake as McClellan had been for his Peninsula 


From the time of the attack of Saint Mihiel on September 
12, 1918, until September 25, 1918, we had thirteen days to 
prepare for an offensive which, as it was made by a new army, 
could be likened to the great Somme offensive of the British 
in 1916. Then the British had taken five months in which to 
build roads, dig assembly trenches, prepare ammunition dumps, 
and bring up necessary engineering material. But it must be 
borne in mind that at this time the enemy was in the prime of 
his numbers and confidence. Moreover, such elaborate arrange- 
ments were then considered necessary in order to take power- 
fully intrenched lines. They had the fault of warning the enemy 
in ample time of any concentration which enabled him to mass 
men and material for defense. Later, the French had developed 
a system of limited objectives of brief artillery preparations, 
followed by the rolling barrage which preceded the advance of 
the infantry, while the enemy*s strong points and gun positions 
were smothered with shells. The Germans, however, in their 
great offensive against the British in March, 1918, had taken 
ample time for preparation while they made the innovation of 
driving through for sufficiently great depth to become masters 
of all the trench defenses and of the opposing artillery. 

In the counteroffensive toward Soissons on July 18, 1918, and 
again in the Anglo-French-Canadian offensive of August 8, 
1918, and the succeeding offensives, the Allies had depended on 
either a very brief artillery preparation or upon not opening 
fire until the moment of the infantry's advance while they 
followed through in the German fashion. In our Meuse- 
Argonne offensive, we had all these precedents and the experi- 
ence of the officers in directing them for our guidance. But 
very veteran and skilled armies had carried out the later style 
of offensive, and they had the advantage which comes from 
long experience that the units, used to keeping their uniformity 
in battle action, did not become dispersed after they had made 
a certain advance as was supposed to be the case in any exten- 
sive offensive where new divisions were engaged. 

The most disastrous example in throwing an untrained divi- 
sion into a violent attack was that of the British 21st Division 


in the fall of 1915 at Loos, which in trying to apply its drill- 
ground training under fire, became disorganized and failed to 
take its objectives. Later, after it had had more experience, 
this same division, though no more courageous than in its first 
battle, proved itself masterful in the complicated technique of 
modern attack which it had learned in diligent application in 
smaller actions after Loos, and by applying the lessons learned 
at Loos by thorough drilling. 

Practically all our pioneer divisions which had had long ex^ 
perience in France were either engaged at Saint Mihiel or else 
they were occupied elsewhere. For the new offensive we must 
therefore depend upon new divisions which had been a shorter 
time in France than the 1st or 2d or 26th or 42d Divisions. 

Following the attack by the American army on the Meuse- 
Argonne line and the 4th French Army on its left with their 
threat toward the lines of communications, the British and 
French were to strike the Hindenburg line in the St. Quentin- 
Cambrai region on September 29, 1918, and on October 2, 1918, 
the French were to attack to the east of Rheims. Thus a suc- 
cession of offensives were to broaden the whole front of opera- 
tions in an effort to break through the old trench line, all the 
way from the Meuse to the North Sea, and bring the Allied 
armies into the open where they would be forever free of trench 
shackles. This was a most audacious enterprise which was 
warranted by the information which the Allies had of the state 
of the German army. The Bulgarian army was beginning to 
disintegrate and the Italians had turned the Austrian offensive 
on the Piave into a disaster from which the Austro-Hungarian 
armies could not recover. Throughout the months of August 
and September, 1918, the Germans had been yielding large 
numbers of prisoners and an immense quantity of material, 
while the Allied losses had been comparatively light. 

The German cards were now on the table; the number of 
German divisions in reserve were known ; and in the arrival of 
American divisions the Allies had a vast store of man power. 
We had become the dependable quantity of a mighty growing 
reserve force. 

War St. 8— Lg 


Marshal Foch chose to put us in the very hinge of the whole 
movement and he set for our objective in a swift series of 
advances nothing less than the heights of Buzancy — the heights 
of the whaleback itself. Had we gained that within three or 
four days, we would have threatened the retreat of the whole 
German army, indeed, the capture of a hundred thousand or 
more Germans would have been fairly certain. No one con- 
sidered such a success except in the category of a military 
miracle until German reserves were more depleted than they 
were at the end of September. 

• Ludendorff, on his side, knew that he must hold the hinge of 
the door. He might yield toward the west, if necessary, but 
must not yield in front of Mezieres and Sedan. The neck of the 
bottle must not be closed. The measure of our initial success, 
whatever the intrepidity of our attack, must depend largely 
upon how far we were able to take the Germans by surprise, and 
the depth of our advance must depend upon our ability to bring 
up our artillery and ammunition and food for our men. To the 
rear of the line from the Meuse to the Argonne Forest there 
are literally only two roads of approach. If we attempted to 
build more, they would immediately be visible to the aeroplane 
observers of the enemy. We could not build more when our 
engineers and our laborers were occupied at Saint Mihiel. 

If we arranged elaborate dumps of ammunition, these would 
inevitably be seen by the enemy or their presence would be com- 
municated in some way as past experience had proved. To 
move long columns of troops and transport by day was equally 
an advertisement of our plan for an enormous attack which 
Ivas the thing that we wished to conceal when the success of the 
attack was to depend upon secret mobilization and a swift blow, 
If we were to repair the old roads across the broad area of th( 
shell-crushed no-man*s-land and through the trench systems 
after our attack, this also required the assembling of a great 
deal of material in view of the enemy. 

No part of a modern army's arrangements is more difficult 
than the handling of the necessarily dense vehicular traffic be- 
hind the immediate front, even if ample supplies are brought 


to the railheads. The numbers of motor trucks and ambulances 
required were incredible. Our Service of Supply, which had 
been concentrating all its energies and material toward Saint 
Mihiel, now had to prepare for another equally great offensive. 
New railheads, new railways, new hospitals, new headquarters, 
and new routes of transport had to be established. With th« 
certainty that the Saint Mihiel sector, if it became violent, would 
consume large quantities of ammunition we had to provide for 
the immense consumption of ammunition which would un-w 
doubtedly be required in the Meuse-Argonne. 

The continued fighting throughout the summer, with addi- 
tional and unexpected requirements for the new offensive cam- 
paign, had made increasingly heavy drafts upon transport and 
animals. It was no use to say that more horses were coming 
from Spain and from America ; they were needed now. All the 
tanks and aeroplanes and the light and heavy artillery which 
were in the making at home or on the docks at New York would 
be of no service unless they were in the battle. The lack of 
sufficient railway lines and shortage of rolling stock required 
accordingly more travel on the limited roads approaching the 
area of concentration east and west of Verdun. 

When artillery, in course of being withdrawn from the Saint 
Mihiel front to go to the Argonne front, had their horses killed, 
the weary survivors who were now to draw the guns could not 
be forced through according to the usual schedule. They had 
to cross the streams of traffic running to the Saint Mihiel front. 
At night all the roads were solid columns of men and vehicles 
that had to keep at the uniform pace of the slowest of its units 
lest motor transport, which could go fifteen miles an hour, in 
trying to pass tractor-drawn heavy artillery that could go three 
or four, should become imbedded in the mud and thus stall the 
whole column for hours. 

Thus the unprecedented strain of the Meuse-Argonne Battle, 
which was to endure for six weeks, began with the difficulties 
of mobilization. During the Chateau-Thierry operations we 
had had summer weather, when men could sleep in the open 
with comfort, when it was easy to repair broken roads and 


when motor trucks which got off the road did not sink into the 
mud. Now we had already entered the period of chill fall rains 
vv^hich made the ground porous and wet marching soldiers to the 
skin. Instead of time for reflection and reorganization, in 
applying the lessons of the Saint Mihiel salient, every officer and 
man was straining his utmost to make sure by improvisation, 
when organization failed and by sheer sleepless industry, of 
meeting with forced smiles each new contingency as it 

' Our three corps in line were, the first under General Liggett 
oh the left, the fifth under General Cameron in the center, and 
the third under General Bullard on the right. The corps head- 
quarters were established only four days before the attack. Un- 
familiar except in theory, and from what they had learned at 
Saint Mihiel, with the problems of directing an army in a pro- 
longed battle, they had not a quarter of the time for preparations 
which they ordinarily should have received even if they had 
had long experience. They did not know the division com- 
manders or the divisions which were to serve under them, and 
the divisions did not arrive until the last moment. 

Artillery brigades, fresh from the training grounds where 
they had only received their guns, marched up to be assigned to 
divisions with which they had never cooperated in action. Bat- 
teries that had no horses depended upon batteries that had 
horses to be drawn into position. The coordination of infantry 
units for the attack was dependent upon coordination by paper 
directions rather than previous association. 

We had an enormous concentration of artillery and of avia- 
tion, thanks to assistance from the French, but our aviation and 
much of that of the French sent us was new. Our aviators 
lacked experience as observers in keeping their liaison in 
directing artillery fire and in informing the infantry of the 
movements of their units and of the enemy's. Infantry and 
artillery commanders who had had little previous battle experi- 
ence, were not always fortunate in their efforts to keep liaison 
with one another and with the aviation in view of the aviation's 
inexperience. To say that the American army was ready for 


such an offensive as that of the Meuse-Argonne would be unfair 
to the men who began the battle and detracting from the glory 
of their achievement. Her courage, eagerness, adaptability, 
and industry were merits which were to overcome the handicaps 
in a way that made results even more glorious in the greatest 
battle of our history. 

Aside from the fact that two of the divisions in line were 
going under fire for the first time there was not one of the divi- 
sions which was not handicapped in some way for their effort, 
either for want of artillery or because they had had no time to 
rest after hard marches or previous battles. In the space of 
this brief review it is impossible to tell of their actions in de- 
tail which reflected credit on each one of the Regular, National 
Guard, or National Army divisions, and which, taken together, 
reflected credit upon the army as a whole. 

On the right was Bell's 33d Division of Illinois National 
Guard. At its back was the famous Mort Homme, or Dead 
Man's Hill, where Frenchmen and Germans had struggled in the 
battle of Verdun, with its shell craters now fringed with weeds. 
The 33d had to cross the Forges Brook and swing in toward the 
Mouse River protecting the right flank of the whole movement 
which rested on the river. On the left of the 33d was the 80th, 
Cronkhite's Blue Ridge Division, trained at the British front 
and come from Saint Mihiel. Next in line was the 4th Regular 
Division, which, coming fresh from the British front, had 
fought magnificently in the Chateau-Thierry operations. On its 
left was Kuhn's 79th, the National Army Division from Camp 
Meade, which had never heard a shot fired until it marched up 
amidst the roar of guns and artillery preparation. Then we 
had Farnsworth's 37th, National Guard of Ohio, which with 
unconquerable persistence was to take the wicked Malancourt 
Woods; and then the 91st Division of the National Army from 
the Pacific slope which was to give such a remarkable exhibition 
of continued and determined advance. Next we had Traub's 
85th Division, National Guard from Kansas and Missouri, which 
was set the dreadful task of taking the heights on the west of 
the Aire river and of crossing the Exermont ravine. Next was 


Muir's 28th, or 'Iron" Division, National Guard of Pennsyl- 
vania, which was in the valley of the Aire and faced the wooded 
heights of the Argonne which were thrust out Gibraltarlike into 
the valley. Finally, on the extreme left was the 77th, National 
Army from New York (now under command of Alexander), 
facing the heart of the formidable Argonne Forest. 

Some of these divisions had more difficult obstacles than 
others to overcome. Their relative position in line was due less 
to a strategic arrangement, with any view to their experience 
Or to their exhaustion in relation to their objectives, than to the 
i-elation of their positions to the roads by which they had had 
to travel in reaching the front. Up to this time the 4th, the 
77th, and the 28th had probably seen the most fighting. They 
had just come from the Chateau-Thierry operations and in 
Common with all the other divisions, were short of transport 
and had to make forced marches. 

All the men of all the divisions had either been sleeping in 
box cars on i'ailroad trains or they had been in the miserable 
crowded billets of small villages, getting what rest, after march- 
ing at night, they could during the day, in the midst of the 
rumble of traffic. No corps, divisional, regimental, or battalion 
commander, no chief of one of the staff sections who had any- 
thing to do with the direction of traffic, could say quite how 
this was accomplished, except by sleepless vigil and grim, 
sweating effort, but the fact was that the miracle had happened; 
for on the night of September 24, 1918, every division was in 
position, with a thin fringe of the French remaining in the front 
line in order to prevent the Germans, if they took any prisoners, 
from identifying the number of American divisions which were 

Marshal Foch had now postponed the attack until the 26th; 
this gave the men a day in which to rest as much as they could, 
and a little more time for the artillery and staff to make its 

General Pershing, who was to direct the battle in person, 
had taken up his headquarters in the city hall of the village 
of Souilly on the "sacred road" from Bar-le-Duc to Verdun 


where the French commanders had planned the defense against 
the great German offensive of 1916. 

On the morning of the 26th, after six hours of artillery 
preparation, the waves of infantry of these nine divisions which 
had now assembled in the front-line trenches, relieving the 
French, went over the top in beginning the greatest battle in 
American history. The fortifications which they attacked rep- 
resented the result of all the experience which the Germans, in 
their antlike industry, had applied in preparing their defenses. 
No-man's-land had been pummeled by four years of shell fire 
until the rims of shell craters joined. The weeds which had 
grown up hid the rims, slippery in the morning mist, and made 
footing more uncertain on the soft turf. The barbed-wire en- 
tanglements were deep, in keeping with the formidability of the 
German trench system. When they built these works, the Ger- 
mans rightly considered them impregnable. The story of every 
battalion that attacked that morning, as well as every battalion 
that participated in the Argonne Battle, is worthy of a lengthier 
description than I am giving to the whole operations of the 
American Expeditionary Force. 

It is usual in such attacks that, at many points of the line 
where the enemy's barbed wire has not been cut by the artillery 
fire, or where machine-gun nests are strategically placed, por- 
tions of the advancing wave of infantry are held up with the re- 
sult that succeeding portions push on until they are caught 
in salients in enfilade fire. This leads to confusion and frequently 
to arresting the whole attack, or at least to interfering with the 
plan, thus giving the enemy time to bring up his reserves and 
profit by his opportunity. This had happened in the Somme 
offensive, at Loos, at Passchendaele and in the fifth and last 
German offensive and, indeed, in every big offensive on the 
western front. There was every reason why it should happen 
this time to the eye of any experienced observer who had not 
the youthful enthusiasm of our soldiers, who in their ingrained 
American offensive spirit, attacked in a manner as confident as 
if they were used to breaking first-Hne trench systems as a part 
of their routine of drill. 


It was this spirit, on that memorable morning, that carried 
the fortifications at every point. By every rule, by every prece- 
dent, after they had gone through the barbed-wire and in and out 
of the maze of trenches and then over the shell craters of No- 
man's-land they ought, even if they had not been under fire, 
to have lost their uniformity of line and formed into irregular 
groups. But instead of this they kept on going, overcoming the 
enemy's machine-gun nests and gathering in prisoners, when 
sheer fatigue ought to have stopped them. By night some of 
them had reached objectives five and six miles beyond the front 

The daring stroke of throwing our army against the Meuse- 
Argonne line straight at the enemy's communications had al- 
ready had its reward; although the Germans had been warned 
of the attack, they had no idea that it would be in such force. 
They recognized at once that the threat against the Lille-Metz 
railroad was serious. They must bring up good divisions and 
enough of them, and sufiicient artillery, to make sure that it 
was arrested. 

Our task, now, was the thankless one of continuing to draw 
more and more divisions against us in the consciousness that 
every German whom we held or whom we killed or wounded 
was one more removed from the British or French fronts. We 
were to have the stiffest fighting of any part of the line, and the 
value in what we did was not to be reckoned in ground gained, 
but in damage done the enemy. During the following days we 
continued to advance while the Germans settled down in strength 
in front of us and established themselves in the strong trench 
line of the Kriemhilde Stellung across a series of commanding 
heights. Our divisions, exhausted after a week or more of 
fighting, had to be relieved by rested divisions which were 
called to the front including the 3d and the 5th and 1st Divisions 
of Regulars. We had to weaken our line a little owing to the 
necessities of transport. 

The embargo on building roads before the attack, and our in- 
ability to bring up engineering material, and our lack of labor 
and sufficient experience in handling traffic, which can only be 


learned in battle, led to inevitable congestion. The area of 
shell craters, extending for half a mile or more as well as across 
no-man's-land, which consisted simply of earth pulverized by- 
four years of shell fire, seemed to have no bottom to the en- 
gineers who worked night and day in order to make the passage 
of the artillery and the heavy motor trucks possible. In the 
dripping rain and penetrating cold, taking what sleep they 
might steal in wet clothes, all hands kept ceaselessly at their 
task while the men in the front line were digging "fox holes*' 
in the seeping slopes of hills among the roots of trees of gassed 
woods and in ravines. The issue was joined in stubborn and 
bitter fighting in which it was the American plan always to 
keep the initiative and the upper hand over the enemy and to 
force him to put in more and more of his decreasing reserves. 

We still had our Second Corps with the British under the 
command of Major General George W. Read, consisting of 
O'Ryan's 27th National Guard Division from New York and 
Lewis's 30th National Guard Division from the Southern 
mountain States. They had assisted in driving the Germans 
out of the positions they had won in the Ypres salient in April, 
1918. After that they were swung around across the old 
Somme battle field, and in keeping with the policy of the Allied 
command, which recognized the confident valor of our men in 
the attack, they were to be sent against one of the strongest 
portions of the old Hindenburg line, that of the region over the 
St. Quentin Canal tunnel. Allied commanders said that the 
sheer presence of our troops in the offensive inspirited their 
own. The homesickness of our men who knew that they could 
not return until they had won the war was an impelling in- 
fluence to force the issue now that their quick intelligence as- 
sured them that victory depended upon pressing the enemy 

Though the 27th and 30th Divisions were never to be as- 
sociated with their own army, on the 28th, 29th, and 30th of 
September, 1918, they were to know in the company of the 
British the same kind of fighting that we had in breaking the 
line in the Argonne, as they charged through the enemy's 


barrages and against his machine-gun nests for the conquest 
of the famous positions which had taken the name of Hinden- 
burg, who had given them his especial attention and who had 
declared that they never could be taken. The 30th made a clean 
sweep, but it was not in human power for the 27th Division 
to reach all of its objectives. The gallant men of the 27th had, 
however, in two days' fighting, immortalized their division before 
the Australians, coming fresh into the line, took their place 
according to schedule and completed the task. 

Throughout the offensives of August and September, 1918, 
the German positions in front of Rheims had remained where 
they were established in September of 1914. On October 2, 
1918, in an offensive in this sector, Le Jeune's 2d Division with 
its brigades of Regulars and Marines, which led all our divisions 
in the number of its casualties in this war, was joined with the 
French in an attack to disengage Rheims ; and when, after fight- 
ing its way through the deep trenches cut in the chalky soil of 
Champagne, the 2d stormed Blanc Mont, the German guns had 
fired their last shot at the cathedral and were in retreat. 
Smith's 36th Division of National Guard, from Texas, which 
was without its artillery and which had never been under fire, 
took the place of the 2d, and, after enduring with an amazing 
equanimity a terrific bombardment from the German guns be- 
fore they withdrew, pursued the enemy to the Aisne at a rate of 
travel worthy of Texans and most discomforting to German 

We now return to the Meuse-Argonne Battle, where as I have 
said, the issue was joined in "hammering it out on this line" 
tactics, and divisions which had fought with lion-hearted deter- 
mination until they were staggering with exhaustion and their 
ranks depleted by casualties, were withdrawn in order that 
fresh divisions might take their place. Some divisions either 
for one reason or another were able to remain in longer than 
others. The harder a division's experience the more it suffered 
from what is known as "dispersion"; its units, either in their 
continued advances or in resisting attacks and counterattacks in 
the midst of continued shell fire, lost their cohesion. How they 


kept cohesion even for a day was a marrel past understanding. 
A division which had only a portion of its troops at a time in 
the front line could last longer than a division that had put all 
its reserves into action and had worn out the personnel of the 
whole division. 

Much depended upon the division commander and his staff. 
If he were capable and his division well-trained, he could accom- 
plish results through prompt tactical adaptability to the situa- 
tion on his front without unnecessary sacrifice of his men. In 
holding ground against machine-gun fire the fewer men on the 
front the better. The object was always to gain, of course, the 
maximum of advantage at the minimum of cost. When our 
lines settled down in a position it was not to intrench according 
to the old system, but simply to bide their time for another 

There was no thought but the offensive. The days of trench 
warfare were entirely over. The contact with the enemy was 
through outpost lines in fox holes and machine-gun positions 
chosen carefully with a view to interlocking fire that covered 
every possible path or avenue of approach. With the Germans 
bringing up fresh artillery and countless machine guns in full 
realization of the situation it became evident that further ad- 
vance by piecemeal was impracticable and that another general 
attack should be made along the old battle front. 

Across the Meuse River on our right flank were a series of 
heights ideal for artillery positions, overlooking not only the 
valley, but all the ravines, the roads, and open places. Thus 
our 3d Corps, swinging toward the whaleback, was literally in 
a trough of fire from the heights of the whaleback in front and 
in flank and from the heights across the Meuse in flank. On 
our left flank our 1st Corps was in the same hateful position as 
our 3d on our right. The 28th Division was fighting against 
the wooded escarpments which extended from the bastion of the 
Argonne Forest into the river valley. In the forest itself, the 
77th was meeting with stubborn resistance in the thick under- 
brush, and the French army on its left was as unable as the 
28th Division on its right to relieve its situation. 


Summerairs 1st Division of Regulars, the oldest of our divi- 
sions in France, with its rank full and its spirit high, which had 
been brought from Saint Mihiel and attached to the 5th Corps, 
was swung over to the 1st Corps for its part in the general at- 
tack set for October 4, 1918. It was evident that no further 
progress could be made until we had mastered the commanding 
heights on the eastern wall of the Aire, and for this task the 
1st Division was chosen. Fighting with all the experienced 
skill and courage which was its characteristic, it succeeded in 
its undertaking in a series of continuing attacks and with a 
loss of over nine thousand men, which included about half its 
infantry. In order to spread the wedge which it started, Dun- 
can's 82d, or All-American Division of the National Army, 
swung in on its left between it and Muir's 28th across the river 
bottoms against the heights on the other side. With this sfid 
the 28th was able to continue its advance and complete its task 
before it was relieved, and the 77th Division, the French army 
now coming up on its left, was able to make a thrilling advance 
to the northern edge of the forest. 

On the right of the 1st, Haan's 32d Division of Michigan 
and Wisconsin National Guard, with a heroism in keeping with 
its brilliant record on the Ourcq and at Juvigny, extended the 
wedge in that direction by repeated assaults upon the stub- 
bornly defended positions which were a part of the Germans' 
powerful Romagne system. Later Menoher's Rainbow Divi- 
sion, the 42d, relieved the 1st Division, and with a tenacity of 
purpose in keeping with its veteran reputation continued at- 
tacking until its magnificent persistence had its reward. To 
the east the 3d Division (now commanded by Buck and later 
by Preston Brown), which had been the stone wall on the banks 
of the Marne against the fifth German offensive, was fighting 
against terrific odds. It was to pay for the ground which it 
gained in the ensuing days with over eight thousand casualties. 

Meanwhile, with every advance that its divisions made, the 
position of Bullard's 3d Corps became more wickedly exposed 
to the fire from across the Meuse where the German artillery 
from its heights looked down upon our men as upon the arena 


of an amphitheater. But here, as elsewhere, there was no cessa- 
tion of the offensive. Hershey's 4th Regular Division, schooled 
in the Chateau-Thierry fighting, showed an endurance in keep- 
ing with its skill by remaining in line for over three weeks; 
the 5th Regulars, first commanded by MacMahon and then by 
Ely, which had learned their first lesson in attack by its taking 
of Frappelle in the Vosges Mountains, and which had again at 
Saint Mihiel shown a mettle which promised to make it de- 
pendable for any kind of an emergency, had now come in to take 
the place of Cronkhite's 80th in that trough of hell where it 
was to begin its long and thrilling career of accomplishment In 
the great battle. On its right, Allen's 90th National Army 
from Texas had come in on the left and immediately, though 
it had not been long in France, proved that it was worthy of 
the best traditions of its home State by its stoicism under gas 
and shells and the attacking fervor which were to give it a 
place of honor until the armistice was signed-^after its crossing 
of the Meuse. - 

The Germans were now bringing in their best veteran shock 
divisions and countless machine guns manned by chosen "no 
quarter" gunners. It is significant that on September 29, 1918, 
three days after we had begun our Argonne attacks, Hinden- 
burg had informed the German Government that it ought to sue 
for peace, and on October 3, 1918, after the British assault, 
which included our 2d Corps, had broken the Hindenburg line 
and the ferocious attacks against the positions in the Rheims 
sector had developed, that he informed the German Government 
that the situation of the German army was hopeless. Therefore 
the Geimans on the Meuse-Argonne front were fighting with the 
desperation of men with their backs against the wall to save 
the line of communications for their retreat. Our lack of suffi- 
cient fresh divisions in reserve and of sufficient artillery in the 
second week of October, 1918, for extensive operations may have 
given them hope of success; but we were gathering our forces 
for another general attack. 

Meanwhile it became increasingly evident that something 
must be done to stop the flanking fire into our 3d Corps from 


across the Meuse where the 17th French Corps was calUng for 
American divisions to assist in mastering the heights where 
the plentiful German artillery was in position. Bell's redoubt- 
able 33d Division of Illinois National Guard had crossed the 
river from the left bank, after a most remarkable feat of bridge 
building under heavy fire, and had swung north as a part of a 
general attack against these heights. Here the fighting was to 
be equally as fierce and quite as thankless as on the main battle 
front; for here the Germans were in the area of their old Ver- 
dun offensive, and they were perfectly familiar with the ground 
and had at their backs all the roads and barracks which they 
had used in 1916. The main line of hills and ridges, and the 
covering positions of the lesser heights and slopes which they 
held, were already prepared with dugouts and cement pill boxes, 
while in place of Wurttembergers they brought in their best 
Prussian troops, with ample machine guns, to assist an artillery 
defense which had the sweep of a half-mile circle east and west 
of the Meuse, thus enabling them not only to concentrate at 
any point on our 3d Corps on the west bank of the Meuse, but 
upon the 17th French Corps on the east bank. 

Our approach to these defenses was through the ruined vil- 
lages of the Verdun battle fields and along the roads which led 
us into the bottom of a cup, with its rim occupied by the enemy, 
through a ravine which was truly called "Death Valley." Mor- 
ton's 29th, National Guard of New Jersey, which was to have 
its first important battle experience in conquering positions 
which would have baffled the skill of the most veteran of divi- 
sions, advanced on the right of the 33d. Later Edwards's 26th 
"Yankee" Division, which had known all the kinds of fighting 
which the American army had to offer, arrived from its drive 
in closing the Saint Mihiel salient for a period of a remorseless, 
grinding fighting which was in keeping with its experience. 
Against pill boxes, woods, and twisting ravines, across open 
spaces swept by machine-gun fire, repulsed by counterattacks 
and attacking again, the 33d (until it was relieved), the 29th 
for a long period, and the 26th had a battle of their own under 
the 17th French Corps. 


The Germans had even stronger reasons for not yielding the 
heights on the east of the Meuse than they had on the west of 
the Meuse. Once we had Belleu Wood and Pylon Observatory 
we looked down on a broad valley and were approaching the 
last of the hills which separated us from the plain of the Woevre 
and German soil. Indeed, this portion of the east bank of the 
Meuse was the very key to the positions where the Germans 
would have made their stand on a shorter line if they succeeded 
in withdrawing their army. 

October 11, 1918, was memorable in the history of the dir- 
ganization of the American Expeditionary Force, as, on that 
day, General Pershing appointed Major General Hunter Liggett 
our pioneer corps commander, to command the Ist American 
Army, and appointed Major General Robert L. Bullard to the 
command of the 2d Army which was operating 6n the Saint 
Mihiel salient. Both were veterans who had won the additional 
star of a lieutenant general which they now received for long 
service in France. General Bullard had commanded the 1st 
Division; and two other men who had been trained in that 
veteran school also received promotions. Major General John 
L. Hines, who had come to France as a major, succeeded 
General Bullard in command of the 3d Corps and Major Gen- 
eral Charles F. Summerall was given command of the 5th Corps 
in place of General Cameron. Major General Dickman, who 
had commanded the 3d Division in the Chateau-Thierry opera- 
tions, succeeded General Liggett in command of the First Corps. 

On October 14, 1918, another general attack for the length of 
the main battle front took place. The Germans could not af- 
ford to lose any great depth of ground or their main positions 
defending the crest of the whaleback would be in danger. 
All their skill was applied in their maze of machine-gun posi-« 
tions, to utilize every detail of advantage of that monstrously 
favorable ground of slopes, woods, and ravines. The American 
divisions, steeled now to this ruthless fighting against a hidden 
enemy, took machine guns only to find that there were machine 
guns behind them ; they took woods, ravines, and crests only to 
find that there were more woods, ravines, and crests yet to be 


conquered. They made vital gains and fought off fierce counter- 
attacks to hold them. And the Germans brought in still more 
divisions and still more artillery and machine guns in their 
desperate determination which they set against that unremitting 
offensive spirit and unyielding will of the Americans. Under 
cold rain and mist in the soaked earth the grinding continued. 

After the 77th Division had come out victorious from its long 
fight in the Argonne Forest, McCrea's 78th '^Lightning" Na- 
tional Army Division had relieved it in that inconceivably 
hard and thankless task of cleaning up the town of Grand Pre 
and the positions north of the gap of Grand Pre. Day after 
day it kept on attacking even when there was a lull in other 
parts of the line. When Wright's 89th Division came into the 
line we had in these men of the Middle West, well drilled and in 
fine fettle, another new force in the battle which was to bring 
honor to the National Army and the nation. The 89th and the 
90th and 5th Divisions and other divisions improved their op- 
portunities in the final week of October, 1918, by taking posi- 
tions which were valuable for the general attack, now in prepara- 
tion, which was to take place on November 1, 1918. 

With ample artillery and fresh reserves at our command we 
were determined to gain the summit of the whaleback in a 
final drive. This was the third phase of the battle, the second 
having been the long merciless hammering throughout the 
month of October, 1918, in which the endurance, the nerves and 
the aggressive spirit of American soldiers were tested as they 
never were before. Every day we were becoming more skillful 
in combat and our traffic arrangements were improving in their 
organization. The line from left to right on the morning of 
November 1, 1918, was: the 78th, 77th, 80th, 2d, 89th, 90th, and 
5th Divisions. Our infantry, protected by the best artillery 
service which it had ever had, with the exception of some delay 
at certain points, irresistible in its sweep everywhere, gained its 
objectives, mastering the heights for which it had fought for 
six weeks. On November 2, 1918, the German communique 
made its confession to the German people that the American 
army had broken the German line. 


The battle now became one of skillful maneuvers and rapid 
pursuit down the apron of lesser heights and slopes toward the 
Meuse. Behind the 1st Corps in reserve was the 42d Division ; 
behind the 5th Corps in the center the 1st; and behind the 3d 
Corps on the right the 32d. These three veteran divisions, after 
their rest from the fearful fighting of the second phase of the 
battle, now had the opportunity finally, as the movement spread, 
to join in the glorious final phase which saw that army of 
regulars, guardsmen, and draftmen, the strongest force America 
had ever had under arms, as citizens victorious in the cause of 

On November 11, 1918, when the armistice was signed, the 
5th and 90th Divisions of the 3d Corps had swung well across 
the Meuse, taking the heights on the other side. The 89th and 
2d Divisions were also across, while the 42d Division had reached 
the suburbs of Sedan, and the 77th Division was on the left 
bank. Kuhn's 79th Division from Camp Meade, which had re- 
lieved the worn and gallant 29th Division, which had done such 
lion's work across the Meuse, moving in unison with the opera- 
tions beginning November 1, 1918, had conquered the heights 
which had poured their fire down into the trough where the Third 
Corps had fought. The 26th Division, which had stubbornly kept 
in line despite its losses and the misery of its position, was able to 
appreciate, as only such veterans could, the privilege of operating 
on the 79th's right, in mastering the positions on its front which 
had so long defied it. These two divisions were both attacking on 
the morning of the 11th. Before nightfall they had gained the 
last of the hills separating them from the plain of the Woevre. 
Thus the rapid daily advances of the American forces toward and 
across the Meuse, in their capture of the positions upon which 
the Germans depended for their winter defense line, had been 
not the least of the arguments which Marshal Foch was offering 
the Germans for signing the armistice. 

We had only two divisions in reserve when hostilities finished. 
If we had come late into the war, once our legions were prepared, 
we had not been hesitant in giving them for service. All the 
resources of our army from the base ports to the front line had 

War St. 8— Mc 


l>een stretched to their limit. Our hospitals were full and our 
surgeons exhausted. We had broken up freshly arriving divi- 
^sions when the Service of Supply demanded more labor in order 
that the demands of the front should be filled at this juncture 
When the hope had risen in every heart that by a supreme effort 
we might bring the orgy of the great war to a close. We had 
fought for six weeks in chill winter rains and in face of fire and 
of hardships; and in the test of nerves, courage, and devotion 
we had come out triumphant. And through it all there had been 
no finer heroism than that of the trained army nurses who kept 
cheerful when staggering with fatigue in caring for the wounded 
in our hospitals. Be it aviator or motor truck driver, soldier in 
the fox hole or stevedore on the docks, all had given their 
strength and zeal in keeping with the spirit of their errand in 
France. There remained the task of the organization of 
the 3d Army, under General Dickman from the veteran divi- 
sions, which had the fortune to be in the front line on November 
11, 1918, to march through Luxemburg and across the German 
frontier to the Rhine, where they did their duty as policemen 
during the peace negotiations ; and the further task of reversing 
the great machinery of the army, in sending the soldiers home 
in good health after their wonderful experience and splendid 




THE Peace Congress held its first session at 3 o'clock in the 
afternoon on January 18, 1919, at the Ministry of Foreign 
Affairs, Paris. The scene of this historic event upon which the 
interest of the world centered was the former Salle d'Horloge, 
renamed for the occasion Salle de la Paix, one of the most 
magnificent reception rooms in all Europe. 

The French Government had made careful preparation of the 
chamber for every need of the assembly, and in a manner 
worthy of such a gathering. 

For the opening session seventy-two seats were provided, the 
Japanese, the British and Colonial delegates, and the fifth Brit- 
ish delegate were on the outer side of the great horseshoe. To 
the right of the table of honor a seat was reserved for the fifth 
American delegate. 

The delegates representing Italy, Belgium, Brazil, Cuba, Haiti, 
Peru, Portugal, Serbia, Czecho-Slovakia, and Uruguay were 
seated in the order named. 

At the left wing of the table sat the delegates of Siam, 
Rumania, Poland, Liberia, Hedjaz, Ecuador, China, and BoHvia. 

A striking object among the decorations of the splendid cham- 
ber was a heroic marble statue of Peace holding aloft the 



torch of Civilization which stood behind the chair of Premier 

A council table of horseshoe form, covered with green baize, 
stood directly before the statue. Nine seats of honor had been 
prepared at the upper end of the table for the presiding officer, 
the vice presidents and the premiers. On each side of the wings 
of the great horseshoe there were fifteen seats, making sixty 
in all, in addition to the nine seats of honor at the head of the 

The seats, upholstered in leather of a vivid crimson, served to 
emphasize and throw into relief the figures of the representatives 
in somewhat somber attire. The walls of the chamber were 
decorated in white and gold and from the ceiling, whose borders 
were frescoed with dancing Cupids in pastel shades, hung four 
great crystal chandeliers. An abundance of light from five 
large windows overlooking the Seine made it possible for the 
delegates to read and write in any part of the hall. From the 
council room there opened another sumptuous apartment over- 
looking the gardens where the delegates could retire for consul- 
tations. Adjoining was a superbly furnished dining room, 
where meals could be served when protracted meetings were 

Long before the Peace Congress began its session the Quai 
d'Orsay was thronged with people, their eyes fixed on the win- 
dows of the Salle de la Paix. The Palais Bourbon and the Foreign 
Office were protected by a line of troops, and a special guard of 
honor was drawn up near the entrance to the Foreig-n Office, the 
delegates passing through a double file of soldiers. Each arrival 
was the signal for a fanfare of trumpets and full military 
honors from the troops on guard. President Wilson's appear- 
ance a few minutes before the time fixed for the opening of 
the session was the occasion for a remarkable demonstration 
of good will on the part of the crowd. The President joined M. 
Pichon, the French foreign minister, in the anteroom and was 
conducted to the council chamber. At the table of honor Mr. 
Wilson was joined by Secretary Lansing, Mr. White, and General 
Bliss, and exchanged greeting with other delegates. 


President Poincare entered the chamber at 3 o'clock, and the 
entire assembly stood up as he delivered his address, which was 
in French. After he had concluded, an interpreter read the 
speech in English. 

In the course of his remarks, which were delivered with calm 
earnestness, M. Poincare, after greeting the delegates in the 
name of the French Republic, reviewed the course of the war, 
placing on Germany the guilt of premeditation in plunging the 
world into frightful disaster for the purpose of spoils and con- 
quest. He praised the Allies for the mighty efforts they had 
made to crush the German menace, and dwelt on America's 
unselfishness in entering the world war in defense of free 

In conclusion he spoke warmly in favor of the League of 
Nations, which would be a supreme guaranty against any fresh 
assault upon the rights of peoples. M. Poincare then declared 
the congress open and retired. 

Georges Clemenceau, the French premier, was elected per- 
manent chairman of the conference. Speeches by President Wil- 
son, Premier Lloyd-George, and Baron Sonnino expressed the 
desire of the representatives of the different nations to reach 
a friendly understanding with respect to the problems that were 
to be decided at the conference. 

President Wilson, in proposing Premier Clemenceau for the 
permanent chairmanship, said : 

*'It gives me great pleasure to propose as permanent chair- 
man of the conference Mr. Clemenceau, the president of the 

"I would do this as a matter of custom. I would do this as a 
tribute to the French Republic. But I wish to do it as something 
more than that. I wish to do it as the tribute to the man. 

"France deserves the precedence, not only because we are 
meeting at her capital, and because she has undergone some of 
the most tragical suffering of the war, but also because her 
capital, her ancient and beautiful capital, has so often been the 
eenter of conferences of this sort, on which the fortunes of 
large parts of the world turned. 


*'It is a very delightful thought that the history of the world, 
which has so often been centered here, will now be crowned by 
the achievements of this conference — because there is a sense in 
which this is the supreme conference of the history of mankind. 

"More nations are represented here than were ever repre- 
sented in such a con -Terence before. The fortunes of all peoples 
are involved. A great war is ended which seemed about to 
bring a universal cataclysm. The danger is past. A victory 
has been won for mankind, and it is delightful that we shoujd 
be able to record these results in this place. 

"But it is more delightful to honor France, because we can 
honor her in the person of so distinguished a servant. We have 
all felt in our participation in the struggles of this war the 
fine steadfastness which characterized the leadership of the 
French in the hands of Mr. Clemenceau. We have learned to 
admire him, and those of us who have been associated with him 
have acquired a genuine affection for him. 

"Moreover, those of us who have been in these recent days in 
constant consultation with him know how warmly his purpose 
is set toward the goal of achievement to which all our faces are 
turned. He feels as we feel, as I have no doubt everyone in this 
room, feels, that we are trusted to do a great thing, to do it in 
the highest spirit of friendship and accommodation, and to do it 
as promptly as possible in order that the hearts of men may 
have fear lifted from them, and that they may return to those 
purposes of life which will bring them happiness and content- 
ment and prosperity. 

"Knowing his brotherhood of heart in these great matters, it 
afl'ords me a personal pleasure to propose that Mr. Clemenceau 
shall be the permanent chairman of this conference." 

In accepting the presidency of the congress M. Clemenceau 
expressed his gratification for the honor paid him and outlined 
the principal questions which the conference must decide. The 
three principal subjects of these were, he said, responsibility of 
the authors of the war, responsibility for the crimes committed 
during the war, and international labor legislation. The League 
of Nations would lead the program at the next full session. 


Mr. Lloyd-George, who seconded Mr. Wilson's motion, and 
Baron Sonnino, the Italian foreign minister, paid tribute to M. 
Clemenceau's courage, energy, and inspiration which had helped 
the Allies to bring the war to a triumphant conclusion. 

At this session the regulations governing the conference pro- 
ceedings were adopted. The following were the regulations 
regarding the composition of the congress : 

The belligerent Powers with general interests — ^the United 
States of America, the British Empire, France, Italy, and Japan 
— shall take part in all meetings and commissions. 

The belligerent Powers with particular interests — Belgium, 
Brazil, the British Dominions, and India, China, Cuba, Greece, 
Guatemala, Haiti, Hedjaz, Honduras, Liberia, Nicaragua, 
Panama, Poland, Portugual, Rumania, Serbia, Siam and the 
Czecho-Slovak Republic — shall take part in these sittings at 
which questions concerning them are discussed. 

The Powers in a state of diplomatic rupture with the enemy 
powers — Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, and Uruguay — shall take part 
in the sittings at which questions concerning them are discussed. 

The neutral Powers, and states in process of formation, may 
be heard either orally or in writing, when summoned by the 
Powers with general interests at sittings devoted especially to 
the examination of questions directly concerning them, but only 
so far as these questions are concerned. 

The representation of the different Powers was fixed as 
follows : 

Five for the United States of America, the British Empire, 
France, Italy, and Japan; three for Belgium, Brazil, and Ser- 
bia; two for China, Greece, the king of the Hedjaz, Poland, 
Portugal, Rumania, Siam, and the Czecho-Slovak Republic; one 
for Cuba, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Liberia, Nicaragua, and 
Panama ; one for Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, and Uruguay. 

The British Dominions and India were to be represented as 
follows : 

Two delegates each for Australia, Canada, South Africa, 
and India, including the native states; one delegate for New 


Although the number of delegates must not exceed the above 
figures, each delegate had the right to avail himself of the panel 
system, by which the representatives of the Dominions, New 
Zealand, and India might be included in the representation of 
the British Empire. 

>V[ontenegro would be represented by one delegate as soon as the 
political situation of the country was cleared up. The conference 
would fix the representation of Russia at the moment when the 
matters concerning Russia were examined. 

It was further decided that the secretariat should be appointed 
from outside the plenipotentiaries, composed of one repre- 
sentative of the United States of America, one of the British 
Empire, one of France, one of Italy, and one of Japan. 

It was decided that the publicity of the proceedings should 
be assured by official communiques prepared by the secretariat 
and made public. In case of a disagreement as to the drafting 
of these communiques the matter should be referred to the prin- 
cipal plenipotentiaries or their representatives. 

A provision was made that all questions to be decided upon 
should be subject to two readings. The program regarding res- 
olutions which was agreed upon was, in brief, that a committee 
should be formed for drafting the resolutions adopted, com- 
posed of five members not forming part of the plenipotentiary 
delegates, and composed of one representative of the United 
States of America, one of the British Empire, one of France, 
one of Italy, and one of Japan. This committee should concern 
itself only with questions that have been decided. Its sole duty 
should be to draw up the text of the decision adopted and to 
present it for the approval of the conference. 

The supreme council, consisting of two ranking delegates 
from each of the five chief Powers, held its first session on 
January 20, 1919, when the Russian situation was considered 
and was further discussed on the following day. At the session 
of the council of January 22, 1919, the decision was announced 
by which all Russian factions were invited to a conference at 
Princes* Island, Sea of Marmora. (The proposed conference 
was subsequently abandoned, as certain Russian factions re- 


fused to negotiate with representatives of the Soviet Govern- 
ment of Lenine and Trotzky.) 

At the meeting of the supreme council on January 23, 1919, 
an order of business was announced for a plenary meeting of 
the conference on January 25, 1919, when the following ques- 
tions were considered for this purpose. 

First. — International legislation on labor. 

Second. — Responsibility and punishments in connection with 
the war. 

Third. — Reparation for war damage. 

Four. — International regime of ports, waterways, and rail- 

On January 24, 1919, the supreme council met for the first 
time as the supreme war council. Besides President Wilson and 
the premiers and foreign ministers of the Allied Powers, there 
were present also Marshal Foch, Field Marshal Haig, General 
Pershing, General Diaz, and the generals of the Versailles war 
council, including Generals Wilson, Bliss, Boiling, and Robilant. 

The council conferred with Marshal Foch and other military 
authorities as to the strength of the forces to be allowed to the 
various Allied Powers on the western front during the period 
of the armistice. 

The President of the United States and the prime ministers 
and foreign ministers of the Allied and Associated Governments 
addressed a communication to the world in which reference was 
made regarding the use of armed force in many parts of Europe 
and the East to gain possession of territory "the rightful claim 
to which the Peace Conference is to be asked to determine.*' 
Those employing armed force for such purposes were warned 
that they were prejudicing their claims by so doing, and that 
''if they expect justice, they must refrain from force and 
place their claims in unclouded good faith in the hands of the 
Conference of Peace." 

On the same day the mission of the Allies and Associated 
Great Powers to Poland was discussed. It was agreed that M. 
Pichon, the French foreign minister, should prepare the instruc- 
tions to the mission, and that one press representative for each 


of the five great Powers should be allowed to accompany the mis- 
sion. The question of territorial adjustment concerning the Ger- 
man colonies was then discussed by Sir Robert Borden, prime 
minister of Canada; Mr. Hughes, prime minister of Australia; 
General Smuts, representing General Botha, the prime min- 
ister of South Africa, and Mr. Massey, prime minister of New 

At the second plenary session of the Peace Conference on 
January 25, 1919, with M. Clemenceau in the chair, the plan for 
a League of Nations was unanimously adopted. The resolution 
on the creation of a committee on the League of Nations was as 
follows : 

It is essential to the maintenance of the world settlement 
which the associated nations are now met to establish that a 
League of Nations be created to promote international obli- 
gations and to provide safeguards against war. 

This league should be created as an integral part of the 
general treaty of peace, and should be open to every civilized 
nation which can be relied on to promote its objects. 

The members of the league should periodically meet in inter- 
national conference, and should have a permanent organization 
and secretaries to carry on the business of the league in the in- 
tervals between the conference. 

The conference therefore appoints a committee, representa- 
tive of the Associated Governments, to work out the constitu- 
tion and the functions of the league, and the draft of resolutions 
in regard to breaches of the laws of war for presentation to the 
Peace Congress. 

That a commission, composed of two representatives apiece 
from the five great Powers and five representatives to be elected 
by the other Powers, be appointed to inquire upon the following : 

First. — The responsibility of the authors of the war. 

Second. — The facts as to the breaches of the laws and customs 
of war committed by the forces of the German Empire and their 
allies on land, on sea, and in the air during the present war. 

Third. — The degree of responsibility for these offenses at- 
taching to particular members of the enemy's forces, including 


members of the General Staffs and other individuals however 
highly placed. 

Fourth. — The constitution and procedure of a tribunal ap- 
propriate to the trial of these offenses. 

After the reading of the resolutions by M. Clemenceau Presi- 
dent Wilson addressed the assembly. He said that they had 
met together for two purposes : to make the present settlements 
rendered necessary by the war and to secure the lasting peace 
of the world not only by the present settlements, but by the 
arrangements which they should make for its maintenance. 

The League of Nations Mr. Wilson believed to be necessary 
for both of these purposes. Some complicated questions could 
not be worked out to an ultimate issue at the time, but would 
need subsequent consideration, they were not susceptible of con- 
fident judgments at present. It would be necessary to set up 
some machinery to render the work of the conference complete. 

*We have assembled here for the purpose of doing veiy much 
more than making the present settlements that are necessary. 
. . . We are not the representative of governments, but repre- 
sentatives of the peoples. It will not suffice to satisfy govern- 
mental circles anywhere. It is necessary that we should satisfy 
the opinion of mankind. 

"The burdens of the war have fallen in an unusual degree 
upon the whole population of the countries involved." Here, 
Mr. Wilson spoke of the burden thrown upon the older men, 
women, and children, upon the homes of the civilized world. 

These people looked to this assembly to make a peace which 
would make them secure. "It is a solemn obligation on our 
part, therefore, to make permanent arrangements that justice 
shall be rendered and peace maintained. . . . Central settle-r 
ments may be temporary, but the actions of the nations in the 
interest of peace and justice must be permanent. We can set 
up permanent processes. We may not be able to set up a 
permanent decision." 

In a sense, said President Wilson, the United States was less 
interested in this subject than the other nations here assembled. 
Her great territory and extensive se^ borders made her less 


likely to suffer from enemy attacks than other nations. The 
deep ardor of the United States for the society of nations did not 
spring from apprehension, but out of the ideals begotten of the 

"In coming into this war the United States never for la 
moment thought that she was intervening in the politics of 
Europe, or the politics of Asia, or the politics of any part of the 
world. Her thought was that all the world had now become con- 
scious that there was a single cause of justice and liberty for men 
of every kind and place. 

"Therefore the United States would feel that its part in this 
war should be played in vain if there ensued upon it abortive 
European settlements. It would feel that it could not take part 
in guaranteeing those European settlements unless that guar- 
anty involved the continuous superintendence of the peace of the 
world by the associated nations of the world." 

To make the League of Nations a vital thing, said Mr. Wilson, 
it must continue to function, there must be no intermission of 
its watchfulness and of its labor; it should be the eye of the 
nations to keep watch upon the common interest. 

The select classes of mankind, said President Wilson, were 
no longer governors of mankind. The fortunes of mankind were 
now in the hands of the plain people of the whole world. "Sat- 
isfy them and you have justified their confidence not only, 
but have established peace. Fail to satisfy them and no arrange- 
ment that you can make will either set up or steady the peace 
of the world." In the United States the great project of a League 
of Nations was regarded as the keynote of the whole. "If we 
returned to the United States without having made every effort 
in our power to realize this program, we should return to meet 
the merited scorn of our fellow citizens. . . . We have no 
choice but to observe their mandate. But it is with the greatest 
pleasure and enthusiasm that we accept that mandate. And 
because this is the keynote of the whole fabric, we have pledged 
our every purpose to it, as we have to every item of the fabric. 
We would not dare abate a single item of the program which 
constitutes our instructions; we would not dare to compromise 


upon any matter as the champions of this thing — ^the peace of the 
world, this attitude of justice, this principle that we are the 
masters of no peoples, but are here to see that every people in 
the world shall choose its own masters and govern its own des- 
tinies, not as we wish, but as they wish. 

*We are here to see, in short, that the very foundations of this 
war are swept away. Those foundations were the private choice 
of a small coterie of civil rulers, of military staffs. Those 
foundations were the aggression of great Powers upon the small. 
Those foundations were the holding together of empires of un- 
willing subjects by the duress of arms. Those foundations were 
the power of small bodies of men to wield their will and use 
mankind as pawns in the game. And nothing less than the 
emancipation of the world from these things will accomplish 
peace. . . ." 

Mr. Lloyd-George, the British premier, and Signor Orlando, 
premier of Italy, followed President Wilson, and made eloquent 
speeches in support of the resolution. After Leon Bourgeois, 
a French delegate, and representatives of China, Poland, and 
Belgium had expressed their adherence to the plan for a League 
of Nations the resolution was unanimously adopted. 

It was decided at the conference to appoint a commission in 
regard to reparation for war damage to consist of representatives 
from Belgium, Greece, Poland, Rumania, and Serbia who would 
report on the amount of reparation which the enemy countries 
ought to pay, on what they are capable of paying, and on 
the method, form, and time within which payment should be 

A resolution in regard to international legislation on indus- 
trial and labor questions was also passed. This provided for 
the appointment of two representatives apiece from the five 
great Powers and five representatives to be elected by the other 
Powers represented at the Peace Conference to inquire into the 
conditions of employment from the international aspect and to 
recommend the form of a permanent agency, to continue such 
inquiry in cooperation with and under the direction of the 
League of Nations. The conference also adopted a resolution to 


appoint a commission to inquire and report upon the inter- 
national regime of ports, waterways, and railways. 

The supreme council at its session on January 27, 1919, pre- 
pared a prog-ram of work and the constitution of new com- 
mittees for economic and financial questions and those relating 
to private and maritime laws. The question of the former 
German colonies was discussed on the following day. At 
the two sessions of the supreme council on January 29, 1919, 
reports were heard from delegates on the Polish situation 
and Polish claims, and the Czecho-Slovak delegates gave their 

The question of Kiauchau and the Pacific Islands created 
sharp differences between the delegates of China and Japan. 
China finally agreed that Kiauchau should be left to the dis- 
posal of Japan, to be restored to China on condition that it was 
opened as a commercial port. 

At the meeting of the supreme council on January 30, 1919, 
the question of the German colonies in the Pacific and in Africa 
and the occupied territory in Turkey was discussed. Provisional 
arrangements were made to incorporate in the constitution of 
the League of Nation a plan for administering the German 
colonies by which the league should assign them to various 
powers for administration. This was opposed by the repre- 
sentative of Australia, who insisted on the annexation of New 
Guinea to Australia. 

President Wilson was firmly opposed to a division of Ger- 
many's colonial possessions among the Powers which then held 
them. He believed that to divide the colonies among the En- 
tente nations would be in direct contravention of the "Fourteen 
Points" which had been accepted as a basis of peace, and would 
violate the principles of the League of Nations. 

The famous ^'Fourteen Points," it will be remembered, were 
ttrr^nulated by President Wilson, and in January, 1918, were 
offered to the belligerent nations as the foundation for peace 
negotiations : 

I. Open covenants of peace, openly arrived at, after which 
there shall be no private international understandings of any 


kind, but diplomacy shall proceed always frankly and in the 
public view. 

II. Absolute freedom of navigation upon the seas, outside 
territorial waters, alike in peace and in war, except as seas may 
be closed in whole, or in part by international action for the 
enforcement of international covenants. 

III. The removal as far as possible of all economic barriers 
and the establishment of an equality of trade conditions among 
all the nations consenting to the peace and associated for its 

IV. Adequate guarantees given and taken that national 
armaments will be reduced to the lowest point consistent with 
domestic safety. 

V. A free, open-minded, and also impartial adjustment of all 
colonial claims, based upon the strict observance of principles 
that in determining all such questions of sovereignty the inter- 
ests of the populations concerned must have equal weight with 
the equitable claims of the government whose title is to be 

VI. The evacuation of all Russian territory and such settle- 
l lent of all questions affecting Russia as will secure the best 
and freest cooperation of the other nations of the world in 
obtaining for her an unhampered and unembarrassed oppor- 
tunity for the desired determination of her own political devel- 
opment and national policy, and assure her of a sincere welcome 
into the society of free nations under the institutions of her 
own choosing ; and, more than a welcome, assistance also of 
every kind that she may need and herself desire. The treat- 
ment accorded Russia by her sister nations in the months to 
3ome will be the acid test of their good will, of the compre- 
hension of her needs as distinguished from their own interests 
and of their intelligent and unselfish sympathy. 

VII. Belgium, the whole world will agree, must be evacuated 
and restored without any attempt to limit the sovereignty which 
she enjoys in common with all other free nations. No other 
5:ingle act will serve to restore confidence among the nations in 
the laws which they themselves have set and determined for the 


government of their relations with one another. Without this 
healing act the whole structure and validity of international 
law is forever impaired. 

VIII. All French territory should be freed and the invaded 
portions restored, and the wrongs done to France by Prussia in 
1871 in the matter of Alsace and Lorraine, which has unsettled 
the peace of the world for nearly fifty years, should be righted, 
in order that peace may once more be made secure in the in- 
terest of all. 

IX. A readjustment of the frontiers of Italy should be effected 
along clearly recognizable lines of nationality. 

X. The peoples of Austria-Hungary, whose place among na- 
tions we wish to see safeguarded and assured, should be accorded 
the freest opportunity for autonomous development. 

XI. Russia, Serbia, and Montenegro should be evacuated; 
occupied territories restored, Serbia accorded free and secure 
access to the sea, and the relations of the several Balkan states 
to one another determined by friendly counsel along historically 
established lines of allegiance and nationality ; and international 
guarantees of the political and economic independence and terri- 
torial integrity of the several Balkan states should be entered 

XII. The Turkish portions of the present Ottoman Empire 
should be assured a secure sovereignty, but the other nations 
which are now under Turkish rule should be assured an un- 
doubted security of life and an absolutely unmolested oppor- 
tunity for autonomous development, and the Dardanelles should 
be permanently opened as a free passage to the ships and com- 
merce of all nations under international guarantees. 

XIII. An independent Polish state should be erected which 
should include the territories inhabited by indisputably PoHsh 
populations, which should be assured a free and secure access to 
the sea, and whose political and economic independence and 
territorial integrity should be guaranteed by international 

XIV. A genuine association of nations must be formed under 
specific covenants for the purpose of affoiding mutual guarantees 


of political independence and territorial integrity of great and 
small states alike. 

At the session of the supreme council on February 1, 1919, a 
decision was reached concerning the German colonies and the 
conditions were later confirmed by the covenant oi the League 
of Nations. 

President Wilson presided at the opening meeting of the 
League of Nations Commission on February 3, 1919, held at the 
residence of Colonel Edward House in Paris. The United States 
was represented by Mr. Wilson, Colonel House, and Mr. Miller, 
technical expert. Lord Robert Cecil and General Christian Smuts 
represented Great Britain; for France, Leon Bourgeois and 
Ferdinand Larnaude ; for Italy Premier Orlando, and for Japan 
Baron Chinda; also delegates from Belgium, Serbia, Brazil, 
Portugal, and China. 

The discussion in which Mr, Wilson took a leading part was 
not general but specific, as the printed text of the agreed 
plan for the formation of the League of Nations was before 
the meeting. 

On the same date important committees on reparation, ports, 
waterways and railways held their first formal meetings. The 
French and British presented a program recognizing the right 
of nations to control international waterways and international 
railways, which was accepted by the commission. 

The commission of the Allied Nations held daily sessions 
beginning February 4, 1919, and made continued progress. The 
delegates were unanimous in believing that a League of Nations 
was desirable, but some doubted its immediate efficiency and 
favored maintaining the old order of balance of power until the 
new plan had demonstrated its capacity and workability, to meet 
the needs of nations loving peace. Much time was spent in 
winning over these dissenters, and it was only accomplished 
after long and patient endeavors. 

The final session of the League of Nations Commission was 
held on February 13, 1919, when a French delegate offered a 
clause for an interallied military force to compel peace, and the 
Japanese presented an amendment providing that racial dis- 

War St. 8— Nc 


crimination should not be tolerated. Both proposals were 

At this meeting the constitution of the League of Nations as 
finally drafted was unanimously adopted by the committee and 
President Wilson was designated to present the completed plan 
to the plenary council at their next session. 



ON February 14, 1919, President Wilson read the draft of the 
constitution of the League of Nations before the plenary 
council of the Peace Conference and afterward delivered an 
earnest and spirited address in support of the plan. Lord Robert 
Cecil, head of the British delegation, expressed his approval of the 
League and constitution in an eloquent speech, and the Italian 
Premier Signor Orlando, described his satisfaction at having 
collaborated in one of the greatest documents in all history. 

Leon Bourgeois, for France, said that the French delegation 
reserved the right to present their views on certain details of the 
plan which made no distinction between great and small States. 
France and Belgium, said M. Bourgeois, were especially ex- 
posed to danger, and required additional guarantees. He urged 
a system of permanent inspection of existing armaments and 
forces as a means to avoid the renewal of wars. 

The text of the document read by President Wilson at the 
plenary session, opening with a preamble, is here given in full. 

"In order to promote international cooperation and to secure 
international peace and security by the acceptance of obligations 
not to resort to war, by the prescription of open, just, and 


honorable relations between nations, by the firm establishment 
of the understandings of international law as the actual rule 
of conduct among governments, and by the maintenance of 
justice and a scrupulous respect for all treaty obligations in the 
dealings of organized peoples with one another, the Powers 
signatory to this covenant adopt this constitution of the League 
of Nations/' 

Of the twenty-six articles which comprise the constitution of 
the League of Nations some were afterward amended, and 
such changes will be noted later in their place. 

The first seven articles of the constitution which are the least 
important to the general reader may be thus summarized : 

The action of the high contracting parties under the terms of 
the covenant shall be effected through the meeting of a body of 
delegates representing them, and the meetings of an executive 
council, and of a permanent international secretariat to be estab- 
lished at the seat of the League. Each of the high contract- 
ing parties shall have one vote, but not more than three 

The executive council shall consist of representatives of the 
United States of America, British Empire, France, Italy, and 
Japan, and representatives of four other states members of the 
League. Meetings shall be held as occasion requires and at 
least once a year. Any Power shall be invited to attend a 
meeting of the council when matters concerning its interests are 
to be discussed. The first meeting of the body of delegates shall 
be summoned by the President of the United States. 

Admission to the League of states not signatories to the 
covenant requires the assent of not less than two-thirds of the 
states represented in the body of delegates. Only full self- 
governing countries or dominions shall be admitted. 

Article VIII. Provides that the executive council shall deter- 
mine for the consideration of the several governments what 
military equipment and armament is fair in proportion to the 
scale of forces, laid down in the program of disarmament. The 
high contracting parties agree to examine the manufacture by 
private enterprise of war material and direct the executive 


council to advise how to prevent the evil effects attendant on such 
manufacture, respecting the need of those countries that can- 
not manufacture munitions and war implements necessary for 
their safety. 

Article IX, Permanent commission shall be constituted to ad- 
vise the council on the execution of the provisions of articles I 
and VIII and on military and naval questions generally. 

Article X. This and the two following, as among the most 
important articles in the constitution, and which became the 
subject of heated controversy, must be given in full: 

"The high contracting parties shall undertake to respect and 
preserve against external aggression the territorial integrity 
and existing political independence of all the states members of 
the League. In case of any such aggression, or in case of any 
threat of dangei^ of such aggression, the executive council shall 
advise upon the means by which the obligation shall be 

Article XI. States that any war, or threat of war, is a matter 
of concern to the League, and the high contracting parties re- 
serve the right to take such action as will conserve the peace of 

Article XII. States in effect that if disputes arise that cannot 
be adjusted by the ordinary processes of diplomacy no resort 
to war will be made until the questions involved are submitted 
for arbitration of the executive council. Until three months 
after the award by the arbitrators war will not even then be 
resorted to against a member of the League which complies with 
the award of the arbitrators, or the recommendation of the 
executive council. 

Article XIII. The high contracting parties agree that disputes 
or difficulties arising between them which cannot be settled by 
diplomacy they will submit the whole matter to arbitration. 
They agree to carry out in good faith any award that may be 

Article XIV. Provides for the establishment of an interna- 
tional court of justice to hear and determine any matters suit- 
able for submission to it for arbitration. 


Article XV. Disputes between members of the Lea^e not 
submitted to arbitration shall be referred to the executive 
council. If the dispute has not been settled, a report by the 
council shall be published and recommendation made by the 
council for the settlement of the difficulty. If the report is 
unanimously agreed to by the council other than the parties to 
the dispute, the high contracting parties agree that they will 
not go to war with any party which complies with the recom- 

Article XVI. "Should any of the high contracting parties 
break or disregard its covenants under Article XII, it shall 
thereby ipso facto be deemed to have committed an act of war 
against all the other members of the League, which hereby 
immediately undertakes to subject it to the severance of all 
intercourse between their nationals, trade or financial relations, 
the prohibition of all intercourse between their nationals and the 
nationals of the covenant-breaking state, and the prevention of 
all financial, commercial, or personal intercourse between the 
nationals of the convenant-breaking state and the nationals of 
any other state, whether a member of the League or not. 

"It shall be the duty of the executive committee council in 
such a case to recommend what effective military or naval force 
the members of the League shall severally contribute to the 
armed forces to be used to protect the covenant of the League." 
This article further states that the high contracting parties 
agree to mutully support each other financially and economically, 
and in resisting any special measures aimed at one of their 
number by the convenant-breaking state. 

Article XVII. Considers disputes between one state member 
of the League and another state which is not a member of the 
League, or between states not members of the League. In such 
event the high contracting parties invite the state, or states, not 
members of the League to become members and accept the 
obligations of the League membership for the dispute in such 
conditions as the executive council shall deem just. The execu- 
tive council will immediately inquire into the merits of the dis- 
pute and recommend such action as may be deemed just and 


equitable. Any Power refusing to accept the obligations of 
membership in the League for the purposes of the League would 
constitute a breach of Article XII. The provisions of Article 
XVI shall be applicable too against a state taking such 

Article XVIII. In this article the League is empowered with 
general supervision of the trade in arms and ammunition with 
countries where control of the traffic is necessary. 

Article XIX. Deals with the question of colonies and terri- 
tories which through the war have ceased to be under the old 
sovereignty. "Inhabited by peoples not yet able to stand by 
themselves . . . there should be applied the principle that 
the well-being and development of such peoples form a sacred 
trust of civilization, and that securities for the performance of 
this trust should be embodied in the constitution of the League." 
The tutelage of such peoples, it was advised, should be in- 
trusted to the advanced nations, and should be exercised by them 
as mandatories on behalf of the League. Communities that have 
reached a stage of development as in Turkey could be provi- 
sionally recognized as independent nations, subject to adminis- 
trative advice and assistance by mandatory power until they 
were strong enough to stand alone. 

Article XX. In this the League promises to endeavor to se- 
cure and maintain fair conditions of labor for men, women, and 
children in all countries where their commercial and industrial 
relations extend, and agree to establish a permanent bureau 
of labor. 

Article XXI. Provision through the instrumentality of the 
League to secure and maintain freedom of transit and equitable 
treatment for the commerce of all states members of the League. 
Special arrangements with regard to the necessities of the 
regions devastated during the war. 

Article XXII. The high contracting parties agree to place 
under control of the League all international bureaus already 
established if the parties to such treaties consent. All such in- 
ternational bureaus in the future shall be placed under the 


Article XXIII. Every treaty or international engagement 
entered into by any member of the League shall be registered 
with the secretary general and published by him. No treaty or 
international engagement shall be binding until so registered. 

Article XXIV. The body of delegates shall have the right to 
advise the reconsideration by states members of the League of 
treaties which have become inapplicable, and of international 
conditions of which the continuance may endanger world peace. 

Article XXV. The high contracting parties agree to abrogate 
all obligations inconsistent with the terms of the covenant, and 
will not hereafter enter into any engagements inconsistent with 
those terms. Powers signatory hereto, or subsequently admitted 
to the League, who have undertaken any obligations inconsistent 
with the terms of this convenant shall take steps to secure release 
from such obligations. 

Article XXVI is concerned with amendments to the covenant. 
These are to take effect when ratified by the states whose rep- 
resentatives compose the executive council, and by three-fourths 
of the states whose representatives compose the body of 

At the conclusion of his reading of the draft of the constitution 
of the League, President Wilson said in part: 

"It is not a vehicle of power, but a vehicle in which power 
may be varied at the discretion of those who exercise it, and in 
accordance with the changing circumstances of the time. And 
yet, while it is elastic, while it is general in its terms, it is 
definite in the one thing that we were called upon to make 
definite. It is a definite guaranty of peace. It is a definite 
guaranty by word against aggression. It is a definite guaranty 
against the things which have just come near bringing the whole 
structure of civilization into ruin. 

"Its purposes do not for a moment lie vague. Its purposes are 
declared and its powers are unmistakable. It is not in con- 
templation that this should be merely a league to secure the 
peace of the world. It is a league which can be used for co- 
operation in any international matter. That is the significance 
of the provision introduced concerning labor. There are many 


ameliorations of labor conditions which can be effected by con- 
ference and discussion. I anticipate that there will be a very 
great usefulness in the bureau of labor which it is contemplated 
shall be set up ^v the League. Men, women, and children who 
work have been in the background through long ages, and some- 
times seemed to be forgotten. . . . Now these people will be 
drawn into the field of international consultation and help and 
will be the wards of the combined governments of the world. 

"As you will notice there is an imperative article concerning 
the publicity of all international agreements. Henceforth no 
member of the League can claim any agreement valid which it 
has not registered with the secretary general. . . . And the 
duty is laid upon the secretary general to publish every docu- 
ment of that sort, at the earliest possible time. . . . 

"Then there is a feature about this covenant which to my 
mind is one of the greatest and most satisfactory advances that 
have been made. We are done with annexations of helpless 
peoples, meant in some instances by some Powers to be used 
merely for exploitation. We recognize in the most solemn manner 
that the helpless and undeveloped peoples of the world . . . put 
an obligation upon us to look after their interests primarily 
before we use them for our interests and that in all cases of this 
sort hereafter it shall be the duty of the League to see that the 
nations who are assigned as the tutors and advisers and direc- 
tors of these peoples shall look to their interests and their 
development before they look to the interests and desires of the 
mandatory nation itself. . . . 

"It has been one of the many distressing revelations of recent 
years that the great Power which has just been happily defeated 
put intolerable burdens and injustice upon the helpless peoples 
of some of the colonies which it annexed to itself, that its in- 
terest was rather their extermination than their development, 
that the desire was to possess their land for European purposes 
and not to enjoy their confidence in order that mankind might 
be lifted in these places to the next higher level. 

"Now the world, expressing its conscience in law, says there 
is an end of that, that our consciences shall be settled to this 


thing. States will be picked out which have shown that they 
can exercise a conscience in this matter and under their tutelage 
the helpless peoples of the world will come into a new light and 
into a new hope. 

**So I think that I can say of this document that it is at one 
and the same time a practical document, a human document. 
There is a pulse of sympathy in it. There is a compulsion of 
conscience throughout it. It is practical, and yet it is intended 
to purify, to rectify, to elevate. 

"It was in one sense, said Mr. Wilson, a belated document, for 
he believed the conscience of the world had long been prepared 
to express itself in some such way. 

'*We are not just now discovering our sympathy for these 
peoples and our interest in them. We are simply expressing it, 
for it has long been felt and in the administration of the affairs 
of more than one of the great states represented here — so far 
as I know all of the great states that are represented here — that 
humane impulse has already expressed itself in their ..lealings 
with their colonies whose peoples were yet at a low stage of 

. . . "Many terrible things have come out of this war, gentle- 
men, but some very beautiful things have come out of it. Wrong 
has been defeated, but the rest of the world has been more 
conscious than it ever was before of the majority of right. 
People that were suspicious of each other can now live as friends 
and comrades in a single family, and desire to do so. The 
miasma of distrust, of intrigue is cleared away. Men are look- 
ing eye to eye and saying: *We are brothers, and have a com- 
mon purpose. We did not realize it before, but now we do 
realize it, and this is our covenant of friendship.' " 

After notifying by cable the Congressional Committee on 
Foreign Affairs at Washington, that he would return to America 
and confer with them at the White House, President Wilson 
sailed from Brest for home on February 15, 1919. Greeted at 
Boston by a great multitude of enthusiastic citizens, he delivered 
an address in the afternoon to 7,000 people assembled in 
Mechanic Hall on the subject of the League of Nations. Traver- 


sing much of the ground he had covered in his speech on the 
draft of the League in Paris, Mr. Wilson said he had been im- 
pressed with the wonderful fact during his work at the Peace 
Conference that there was no nation in Europe that suspected 
the motives of the United States. . . . 

''Before this war, Europe did not believe in us as she does 
now. She did not believe in us during the first three years of 
the war. She seems to have believed that we were holding off 
because we thought we could make more by staying out than by 
going in. And, all of a sudden, in a short eighteen months, the 
whole verdict is reversed. . . . They saw what we did — ^that, 
without making a single claim, we put all our men and all our 
means at the disposal of those who were fighting for their homes, 
in the first instance, but for a cause, the cause of human rights 
and justice, and that we went in, not to support their national 
claims, but to support the great cause which they held in com- 
mon. And when they saw that not only America held ideas, 
but acted ideals, they were converted to America and became 
firm partisans of those ideals. . . . 

"And now do you realize that this confidence which we have 
established throughout the world imposes a burden upon us, if 
you choose to call it a burden ? It is one of those burdens which 
any nation should be proud to carry." 

President Wilson said that all the peoples of Europe were 
buoyed up with a new hope, that they believed a new age was 
dawning, when nations would understand each other and sup- 
port each other in every just cause and unite every moral and 
physical strength to see that right should prevail. "If America 
were at this juncture to fail the world, what would become of 
it?'' He dwelt on the despair and bitterness that would follow 
if America failed to justify the world's hope; on the return to 
the old bad conditions that had prevailed before the war when 
all European nations were hostile camps. 

Yet the most satisfactory treaty of peace, said Mr. Wilson, 
would have little value unless it were backed by the united 
nations to defend it, with great forces combined to make it 
good, and the assurance given to oppressed peoples of the world 


that they should be safe. America would not disappoint the 
hopes of the world, and would make men free. "If we did not 
do that, the fame of America would be gone and all her power 
would be dissipated. She then would have to keep her power 
for those narrow, selfish, provincial purposes which seem so dear 
to some minds that have no sweep beyond the nearest horizon." 
He spoke of the claims of Poland, and the wrongs of Armenia, 
and of the aspirations of the Czecho-Slovaks and Jugoslavs, and 
how certain powers would pounce upon them if there were not 
the guarantees of the world behind their liberty. 

President Wilson said he had returned to report progress 
which would not stop short of the goal. The people were in the 
saddle and they would see to it that if their own present govern- 
ments did not do their will some other governments shall. "And 
the secret is out and the present governments know it." 

Before President Wilson returned to America the League of 
Nations covenant had already been discussed in the United 
States Senate. The Republican members in particular were 
vehement and even bitter in denouncing the project as set forth 
in the original draft. Senator Poindexter declared in the course 
of a three-hour speech that the charter of the League meant 
surrender of American sovereignty to European nations. Article 
X bound the United States as one of the contracting parties, 
he said, to preserve against aggressions the territory and polit- 
ical independence in all states members of the League. This, 
argued the Senator, would compel the United States to tax its 
people and sacrifice its soldiers to make war on behalf of a 
foreign country. In mixing in the affairs of small European 
nations, these small nations would intrude into the affairs of the 
United States. To place into the hands of the council of the 
League of Nations — all but one foreigners with different ideals 
and interests — such control over the sovereign action of the 
American people for which so many heroes had labored "would 
be as though it were a pitiful murder of the very souls of our 
fathers in their own house, builded by their hands. . . ." 

Senator Borah, Republican, attacked the League as a radical 
departure from the policy laid down in Washington's Farewell 


Address and the Monroe Doctrine. Article X, which provided 
for the preservation of the territorial integrity of the nations 
of the League, the Senator said, would first obligate America to 
protect the territorial integrity of Great Britain. If the British 
Empire was threatened in any part, not the United States 
Congress, or the people, or the Government would determine 
what should be done, but the executive council, of which the 
American people had one member, would determine what should 
be done. The British Empire, united in interest with Italy and 
Japan, would outvote America in the League. The whole proj- 
ect, he believed, would sterilize the principle of nationalism and 
abrogate the American Constitution. 

The League found a sturdy and eloquent champion in Senator 
Hitchcock, Democrat, of Nebraska, chairman of the Foreign 
Relations Committee. In the course of a speech delivered on 
February 27, 1919, Senator Hitchcock expressed his belief that 
the League was a positive guaranty against future world wars. 
The attitude Japan might take regarding her nationals was not 
a cause for worry. Japan had already recognized the exclusion 
laws of the United States. There was no question about Mexico, 
which could not give guaranties of international obligations and 
therefore would not be admitted to the League. 

Senator Hitchcock declared that those who opposed the League 
were thinking in the terms of the past. The fear expressed that 
the League would open the way to European despotism was with- 
out foundation, for the spirit of despotism had vanished. Democ- 
racy was the mastering spirit in all the nine nations repre- 
sented in the executive council, yes, even in Japan. Such a 
league, he argued, with its provision of arbitration and delay 
for calm consideration, would make war improbable. The re- 
strictions on armaments would save the great nations billions 
and eliminate oppressive tax burdens. 

One of the principal arguments against the League was that 
in joining it America would have to renounce the Monroe Doc- 
trine and relinquish the right to attack any nation that at- 
tempted to establish itself in the Western Hemisphere. Senator 
Hitchcock argued that the League of Nations included the very 


purposes of the Monroe Doctrine in that it prevented the aggres- 
sion of nations upon each other. An unfriendly act, or attack, 
upon any American republic, or upon the United States, would 
at once be the subject of inquiry and action by the League of 
Nations. America also would no longer be compelled to defend 
alone the Western Hemisphere, but would be backed by the 
sympathy and help of the League of Nations. 

"We have been told that this is one of those entangling alli- 
ances against which Washington warned us. I deny it. In 
Washington's day the world v/as full of alliances, the nations of 
the world were seeking to maintain, through the theories of th^ 
balance of power, their rival interest. Alliances were for the 
very purpose of waging war, whereas the League of Nations is 
ta great covenant among the democracies of the world for the 
purposes of preserving peace." 

Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts, Republican leader in 
the Senate, expressed the definite opposition of his party to the 
League as proposed in a speech before the Senate on February 
28, 1919. 

Senator Knox, Republican, of Pennsylvania, ex-Secretary of 
State and a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, speak- 
ing on March 1, 1919, before the Senate, expressed him- 
self in favor of a modified League that would preserve our 
sovereignty. The chief points in his argument may be sum- 

The Central Powers must not be left out of the League, or it 
would force them for mutual protection to form a second League 
of Nations, which the neutral states would almost certainly join. 
The result would be two great camps, each preparing for a new 
and greater life-and-death struggle. 

Even the term League of Nations was a misnomer, for ac- 
cording to the proposed plan the nations of the world were 
divided into three classes. 

First. — Signatories to the covenant confined perhaps to the 
five great Entente Powers — British Empire, France, Italy, 
Japan, and United States. 

Second. — States not signatory, but named in the protocol, in- 


eluding possibly such Entente Powers, if any, as were not signa- 
tories, as well as other states neutral in the war. 

Third. — Those states which are neither signatories nor pro- 
tocol states which must furnish guaranties as to their intention 
to be bound by their intemationl obUgations, to be admitted 
to the League. 

Thus the League of Nations, said Senator Knox, in the sense 
of all the nations was not created by the document, nor were 
the states members of the League treated as equals. He 
pointed out the difficulties in withdrawing from the League. 
"Once in this union we remain there no matter how onerous 
its gigantic burdens may become." 

The climax to the senatorial discussion came when Senator 
Lodge circulated a proposal to reject the League of Nations 
constitution as then drafted. Thirty-nine members of the next 
Senate, said Senator Lodge, approved of the proposal, and read 
out their names. The thirty-nine members of the next Senate, 
if they stood fast for rejecting the League's constitution, would 
represent more than one-third of the body which must ratify 
any treaty by a two-thirds vote before it became effective. 

Immediately after Congress adjourned on March 4, 1919, 
President Wilson left Washington for New York, where he de- 
livered an address on the League in the evening of that date at 
the Metropolitan Opera House. 

President Wilson in his address covered much the same 
ground he had traversed in his Boston speech, and paid his re- 
spects to the critics of the covenant in somewhat scathing terms. 
He was amazed that there should be in some quarters such 
ignorance of the state of the world. "These gentlemen do not 
Imow what the mind of men is just now. Everybody else does. 
I do not know where they have been closeted. I do not know by 
what influences they have been blinded ; but I do know that they 
have been separated from the general currents of the thought 
of mankind. ... I have heard no counsel of generosity in their 
criticism. I have heard no constructive suggestions. I have 
heard nothing except 'will it not be dangerous to us to help the 
world?' It will be fatal to us not to help it." 


After concluding his address President Wilson and party- 
boarded the George Washington and sailed again for France. 

The attacks on the League of Nations in the United States 
affected the attitude of the French press and of the delegates in 
Paris, who had been critical of the project. But as soon as it 
became apparent that the Wilson program was in danger of 
defeat at home the press rallied to its support and the delegates, 
fearing failure of the whole project, became advocates of the 
covenant as it stood. Only Germany denounced it as unjust to 
'"he German people. Italy gave unqualified support, and 
England's attitude, as expressed through Mr. Balfour, was that 
an immense responsibility rested on the American people. "They 
have come into the war. Their action has had profound im- 
portance. Their service to mankind in this crisis will make a 
great page in their history. But that service is only half accom- 
pli ^ed if they do not take a share in the even more responsible 
labors of peace.'' 

The effect of the assaults upon the League was to speed up the 
preliminary work on the Peace Treaty. 



ON April 28, 1919, the revised covenant of the League of 
Nations was adopted by the plenary session of the Peace 
Conference without divisions and without amendment. Sir Eric 
Drummond of Great Britain was nominated the first secretary 
general of the League. 

The covenant as drafted may be briefly summed up. 

**The original members of the League of Nations shall be 
those of the signatories which are named in the annex to this 
covenant, and also such of those other states named in the annex 
as shall accede without reservation to this covenant.*' 


(In the annex to the covenant the original members of the 
League of Nations signatory to the treaty of peace are given as 
follows : the United States of America, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, 
British Empire, Canada, Australia, South Africa, New South 
Wales, India, China, Cuba, Czecho-Slovakia, Ecuador, France, 
Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Hedjaz, Honduras, Italy, Japan, 
Liberia, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Rumania, 
Serbia, Siam, and Uruguay. States invited to accede to the 
covenant: Argentine Republic, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, 
Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, Paraguay, Persia, Salvador, 
Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Venezuela.) It is interesting 
to note that Mexico was not included among the states invited 
to join the League. 

Article I, as revised, provides that "Any self-governing state, 
dominion, or colony, not named in the annex may become a 
member of the League if its admission is agreed to by two-thirds 
of the assembly, provided it shall give effective guaranties of its 
sincere intention to observe its international obligations and 
shall accept such regulations as may be prescribed by the League 
in regard to its military and naval forces and armaments. 

"Any member of the League may, after two years* notice of 
its intention, withdraw from the League, provided that all its 
international obligations and all its obligations under this 
covenant shall have been fulfilled at the time of its withdrawal." 

Article IV, as revised, reads: "The council shall consist of 
representatives of the United States of America, of the British 
Empire, of France, of Italy, and of Japan, together with four 
other members of the League. These four members of the 
League shall be selected by the assembly from time to time in 
its discretion. Until the appointment of the representatives 
of the four members of the League first selected by the 
assembly, representatives of (blank) shall be members of the 

Two new paragraphs in this article provide specifically for 
one vote for each member of the League in the council, which 
was understood before, and providing also for one representa- 
tive of each member of the League. 






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Names of delesales. not previously ^iven, who signed -- ^^^^^'^ ''\'^;A'^l^ 
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\.n den Heuvel. E. Vanderveldo: BOLIVIA. Ismael Monies; BRAZIL. P- ^ «'«^";;;««^J^«° 
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GREECE, E. Venizelos. N. Politis: GUATEMALA. Joaquin Mendez: HAITL »^" "'7.^'X7J,' 
HEDJAZ. Rustem Haidar. Abdul Hadi Aouni: HONDURAS. Pol.carpo R^^i'^j^'^'J,^"'^' ^i 
D. B. Kins; NICARAGUA. Salvador Chamorro: PANAMA. Antomo «"^««:^= ^J^.^J ' ' ^"^^^"Z' 
POLAND. Paderewski, Dmowski: PORTUGAL. Costa, !'«f;^/= ^'^ ^' ^\;'^„„ „%' "^^ 
Coanda; JUGOSLAVIA, Pachitch, Trumbitch. Vesnitch; ^UM Pr.nce Charoon. Pr.nce 
Traidos Probandhu: CZECHO-SLOVAKIA, Kramarcz. Benes; URUGUA\. Buero. 


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A new paragraph in Article V expressly incorporates the 
provision as to the unanimity of voting, which was at first taken 
for granted. The second paragraph of Article VI has added to 
it that a majority of the assembly must approve the appoint- 
ment of the secretary general. 

In Article VII Geneva is named as the seat of the League, 
as before, but the council are given power to establish it else- 
where if subsequently desired. 

A new paragraph in Article VII establishes equality of em- 
ployment of men and women by the League. 

An added paragraph in Article XIII gives instances of dis- 
putes which are generally suitable to arbitration, such disputes 
as to the interpretation of a treaty, as to any question of inter- 
national law, as to the existence of any fact, which if established 
would constitute a breach of any international obligation, or as 
to the extent and nature of the reparation to be made for any 
such breach. 

A new paragraph added to Article XV is an amendment re- 
garding domestic jurisdiction, that where the council finds that 
a question arising out of an international dispute affects matters 
which are clearly under the domestic jurisdiction of one or 
other of the parties, it is to report to that effect and make no 
recommendation . 

A new paragraph in Article XVI provides for expulsion from 
the League when a member violates any covenant "by a vote of 
the council concurred in by the representatives of all the other 
members of the League represented thereon." 

Article XXI was not in the first draft of the League cov- 
enant and reads: "Nothing in this covenant shall be deemed 
to affect the validity of international engagements, such as 
treaties of arbitration, or regional understandings, such as 
the Monroe Doctrine, for securing the maintenance of 

This amendment recognizing the validity of the Monroe Doc- 
trine meets the "inequality of voting power" criticism, and its 
inclusion in the covenant was regarded as a personal triumph 

for President Wilson, 

^War St. 8— Oc 


Article XXII provides that all agreements shall be unanimous 
and that a nation must decide whether it is to be a mandatory 
for any other nation. 

Article XXIII contains a new clause providing for just treat- 
ment of the aborigines, a clause looking toward prevention of 
the white slave traffic and opium traffic, and a clause looking 
toward progress in international prevention of disease. 

Article XXV specifically mentions the Red Cross as one of 
the international organizations which are to connect their work 
with the work of the League. 

Article XXVI permits the amendment of the covenant by a 
majority of the states composing the assembly, instead of three- 
fourths of the states, though it does not change the requirement 
in that matter with regard to the vote of the council. A new 
paragraph was added to this Article at the request of the 
Brazilian delegates in order to avoid constitutional difficulties. 
It permits any member of the League to dissent from an amend- 
ment, the effect of such dissent being withdrawal from the 

On May 1, 1919 (the anniversary of the sinking of the L\isi' 
tarda), the Treaty of Peace between the Allied and Associated 
Powers on the one hand and Germany on the other was delivered 
to the German plenipotentiaries at Versailles. Fifteen days 
were allowed for reply. 

The treaty represents the work of more than a thousand ex- 
perts who were continuously engaged on the task for three and 
a half months. It is the longest treaty ever drawn, totaling 
about 80,000 words. The treaty does not deal with questions 
affecting Austria, Bulgaria, and Turkey except to the extent of 
binding Germany to accept any agreement reached with her old 

The covenant of the League of Nations is contained in the 
first section of the treaty and in addition to its general duties 
others are specified. 

The League may question Germany at any time for a violation 
of the neutralized zone east of the Rhine as a threat against the 
world's peace. A high commissioner of Danzig will be appointed 


to guarantee the independence of the free city, and arrange 
treaties between Danzig, Germany, and Poland. It will appoint 
three out of five members of the Sarre commission, oversee its 
regime and carry out the plebiscite. The mandatory system 
will be applied to the former German colonies and the League 
will act as a final court in the matter of the plebiscites of the 
Belgian-German frontier and Kiel Canal disputes. 



Germany cedes to France Alsace-Lorraine, 5,600 square miles 
to the southwest, and to Belgium two small districts between 
Luxemburg and Holland, totaling 382 square miles. To Poland 
she cedes the southeastern point of Silesia beyond and including 
Oppeln, most of Posen and West Prussia, 27,686 miles. East 
Prussia is thus isolated from the main body by a portion of 
Poland. Germany loses dominion over the northeastern tip of 
East Prussia, forty square miles north of the River Memel and 
the internationalized areas around Danzig, 729 square miles, 
and the basin of the Sarre, 738 square miles, between the western 
border of the Rhenish Palatinate of Bavaria and the southeast 
comer of Luxemburg. The Danzig area consists of a V be- 
tween the Nogat and Vistula Rivers, made a W by the addition 
of a similar V on the west including the city of Danzig. The 
southeastern third of East Prussia and the area between East 
Prussia and the Vistula north of latitude 53 degrees 3 minutes is 
to have its nationality determined by popular vote, 5,785 square 
miles, and the same with Schleswig, 2,787 square miles. 



Germany is to consent to the abrogation of the treaties of 
1839 which established Belgium as a neutral state, and she 
agrees to any convention the Allied and Associated Powers may 
determine to replace them. 


She is to recognize Belgium's sovereignty over the contested 
territory of Moresnet and part of Prussian Moresnet, and re- 
nounce in Belgium's favor all rights over the circles of Eupen 
and Malmedy, whose inhabitants may within six months protest 
the change, in whole or part, the League of Nations to decide, 

Germany renounces her various treaties and conventions with 
the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg, all rights of exploitation of rail- 
roads, and adheres to the abrogation of its neutrality, accepting 
in advance any international agreement arrived- at by the 

Germany will not maintain fortifications, or armed forces, 
within fifty kilometers east of the Rhine, hold maneuvers, or 
maintain works to facilitate mobilization. In case of violation 
'*she shall be regarded as committing a hostile act against the 
powers who sign the present treaty and as intending to disturb 
the peace of the world." 


Alsace-Lorraine are restored to France with their frontiers 
as before 1871. Citizenship is regulated by detailed provisions 
distinguishing those who are immediately restored to French 
citizenship, those who have to make applications therefor, and 
those for whom naturalization is open after three years. All 
public and private property of former German sovereigns passes 
to France without payment or credit. Ownership over railways 
and rights over tramway concessions and the Rhine bridges 
pass to France. 

For five years manufactured products of Alsace-Lorraine will 
be admitted free of duty to Germany to a total amount not ex- 
ceeding in any year the average of the three years preceding the 
war. Textile materials may be imported from Germany into 
Alsace-Lorraine and reexported free of duty. For seven years, 
perhaps ten, the ports of Kehl and Strassburg shall be admin- 
istered by a French administrator appointed by the Central 
Rhine Commission. Property rights will be safeguarded in 
both ports and equality of treatment in traffic assured nationals, 
vessels, and goods of all countries. 


Contracts between Alsace-Lorraine and Germany are main- 
tained, but France has the right to annul them on grounds of 
public interest. Judgments of courts hold in certain classes of 
cases, others require first a judicial exequatur. War-time 
political condemnations are null and void and the obligati'on to 
repay war fines is established, as in other parts of Allied 


To compensate France for the destruction of her coal mines 
in the north, Germany cedes to France full ownership of the 
coal mines in the Sarre basin, their value to be estimated by the 
Reparation Commission and credited against that account. 
France replaces the present owners, whom Germany undertakes 
to indemnify. France will continue to supply coal for present 
needs and contribute in just proportion to local taxes. The basin 
extends from the frontier of Lorraine as reannexed to France as 
far as St. Wendel, including on the west the Sarre valley as 
far as Saarholzbach and on the east the town of Homburg. 

To secure the rights and welfare of the population and 
guarantee to France entire freedom in working the mines the 
League of Nations will appoint a commission of five to govern 
the territory, one French, one a native of Sarre, and three 
representing different countries other than France and Ger- 
many. Existing German legislation will remain the basis of the 
law, but the commission may make modifications after consulting 
a local representative assembly which it will organize. It will 
have taxing power for local purposes only. The assembly must 
approve new taxes. The wishes of local labor organizations wilS 
be considered in labor legislation and the labor program of the 
League. French and other labor may be utilized freely; the 
former- are at liberty to belong to French unions. Pensions 
and social insurance will be maintained by Germany and the 
Sarre Commission. 

There will be no military service; a local gendarmerie will 
preserve order. The people will preserve their local assemblies, 
religious assemblies, schools, etc., but may only vote for local 
assemblies. They will keep their present nationality except aa 


they wish to change it, and their property will be respected if 
they wish to leave the territory. As a part of the French customs 
system there will be no export tax on coal and metal products 
going to Germany, nor on German products entering the basin 
and for five years no import duties on products going and com- 
ing. For local consumption French money may circulate with- 
out any restrictions. 

After fifteen years a plebiscite will be held to discover if the 
people wish a continuance of the regime under the League of 
Nations, union with France, or union with Germany. The right 
to vote will belong to all inhabitants over twenty, resident there- 
in at the signature. The League will take into account the 
opinions expressed and decide the ultimate sovereignty. In 
any portion restored to Germany the German Government must 
buy out French mines at their appraised value, which if not 
paid for in six months pass finally to France. In case that 
Germany should buy the mines, the League will decide how 
much coal shall be annually sold to France. 


''Germany recognizes the total independence of German- 
Austria in the boundaries traced.'* She recognizes the inde- 
pendence of the Czecho-Slovak state, including the autonomous 
territory of the Ruthenians south of the Carpathians, accepting 
the frontiers as will be determined, which in the case of the 
German frontier follows the frontier of Bohemia in 1914^ 


Germany cedes to Poland the greater part of upper Silesia, 
Posen, and the province of West Prussia on the left bank of the 
Vistula. A Field Boundary Commission of seven, five repre- 
senting Allied and Associated Powers and one each representing 
Poland and Germany, shall be constituted to delimit this 
boundary. Special provisions to protect racial, linguistic or 
religious minorities and secure equitable treatment of commerce 
for other nations will be laid down in a subsequent treaty. 


The southern and eastern frontiers of East Prussia as touch- 
ing Poland shall be fixed by plebiscites, the first in the regency 
of Allenstein between the southern frontier of East Prussia and 
the northern frontier, or Regierungsbezirk Allenstein, from 
where it meets the boundary between East and West Prussia, to 
its junction with the boundary between the circles of Oletsko 
and Angerburg, thence the northern boundary of Oletsko to its 
junction with the present frontier. The second plebiscite will be 
held in the area comprising the circles of Stuhm and Rosenberg 
and the parts of the circles of Marienburg and Marienwerder 
east of the Vistula. 

In each case German troops and authorities will move out 
within fifteen days of the peace and an international commission 
of five members appointed by the Allied and Associated Powers 
will arrange for a free, fair, and secret vote. 

Regulations will be drawn up by the Allied and Associated 
Powers assuring East Prussia full and equitable use and access 
of the Vistula. A subsequent convention will fix terms between 
Poland, Germany, and Danzig, to assure railway communication 
across German territory on the right bank of the Vistula be- 
tween Poland and Danzig, while Poland shall grant free passage 
from East Prussia to Germany. The northeastern corner of 
East Prussia about Memel is to be ceded by Germany to the 
Associated Powers, the former agreeing to accept the settlements 
made, m particular as regards nationality. 


Danzig and the territory near it is constituted a free city 
under guaranty of the League of Nations. A high commission 
appointed by the League and the president of Danzig shall draw 
up a constitution in agreement with the representatives of the 
city, dealing with all differences between the city and Poland. 
The boundaries of the city shall be delimited by a commission 
appointed within six months of the peace of representatives 
chosen by the Allied and Associated Powers and one each for 
Germany and Poland. A convention, the terms to be fixed by 
the Powers, will include Danzig in the Polish customs frontiers 


through a free area in the port; insure Poland free use of the 
city's waterways, docks, the control of the Vistula and the whole 
railway system within the city, and telegraphic and telephonic 
communication between Poland and Danzig; provides against 
discrimination against Poles in the city, and places its foreign 
relations and the diplomatic protection of its citizens abroad in 
charge of Poland, 


The frontier between Germany and Denmark, will be fixed 
by the self-determination of the population. Ten days from 
the peace German troops and authorities shall evacuate the 
region north of the line running from the mouth of the Schlei, 
south of Kappel, Schleswig, and Friedrichstadt along the Eider 
to the North Sea south of Tonning ; the Workmen's and Soldiers' 
Councils shall be dissolved and the territory administered by an 
international commission of five, of whom Norway and Sweden 
shall be invited to name two. 

This commission shall insure a free and secret vote, and 
draw a new frontier on the basis of the plebiscite, Germany re- 
nouncing all sovereignty over territories north of this line in 
favor of the Associated Governments, who will hand them over 
to Denmark. All military works on islands of Helgoland and 
Dune will be destroyed by German labor under supervision of the 


Germany agrees to respect the independence of all territories 
which were part of the Russian Empire. Accepts abrogation 
of Brest-Litovsk and other treaties, and recognizes all treaties 
of the powers with states part of former Empire. The Allied 
and Associated Powers reserve the right of Russia to obtain 
restitution and reparation on the principles of present treaty. 


Outside Europe, Germany renounces all rights as to her own 
and her allies' territories to all the Allied and Associated Powers 
and will accept whatever measures are taken by the five powers. 



Germany renounces in favor of the Allied and Associated 
Power her overseas possessions. All property of the German 
Empire, or state, passes to the government exercising authority 
in the territory. Provision will be made for the repatriation 
of German nationals and of German subjects holding property. 
Germany undertakes to pay damages to French nationals in the 
Cameroons who suffered from acts of German civil and military 
authorities between January, 1900, to August 1, 1914. 


Germany renounces in favor of China all privileges and in- 
demnities resulting from the Boxer rebellion of 1901, and all 
public property except diplomatic and consular establishments 
in the German concessions of Tientsin and Hankow, and in 
other Chinese territory except Kiauchau, and agrees to return 
to China all astronomical instruments seized in 1900 and 1901. 
Germany accepts the abrogation of concessions at Hankow and 
Tientsin, China agreeing to open them to international use. 
Germany renounces all claims against China, or any allied or 
associated government, for the internment or repatriation of her 
citizens in China, and for seizure or liquidation of German in- 
terests. She renounces in favor of Great Britain her state prop- 
erty in the British concession at Canton, and of France and 

Germany recognizes that all agreements with Siam ceased 
July 22, 1917. All German property but consular and diplo- 
matic premises pass to Siam. Germany waives all claims 
against Siam for seizure of German property during the war. 


Germany renounces all rights under international arrange- 
ments of 1911 and 1912, regarding Liberia. All commercial 
treaties and agreements between herself and Liberia are abro- 
gated and she recognizes Liberia's right to determine the status 
and condition of the reestablishment of Germans in Liberia. 



Germany renounces all her rights, titles, etc., under the act of 
Algeciras and French-German conventions of 1909 and 1911, 
and all arrangements with the Sherifian Empire. She under- 
takes not to interfere in any negotiations as to Morocco between 
France and other powers, accepts the French protectorate and 
renounces the capitulations. The Sherifian Government shall 
have complete liberty of action over German nationals. All 
German property may be sold and the proceeds deducted from 
the reparation account. 


Germany recognizes the British Protectorate over Egypt and 
renounces the capitulations and all treaties, etc., concluded by 
her with Egypt. She undertakes not to intervene in any negotia- 
tions between Great Britain and other powers. She consents to 
the transfer to Great Britain of the powers given to the late 
Sultan of Turkey for securing the free navigation of the Suez 
Canal. German nationals will be dealt with as in Morocco. 
Anglo-Egyptian goods entering Germany shall enjoy the same 
treatment as British goods. 

Germany accepts all arrangements which the Allied and As- 
sociated Powers make with Turkey and Bulgaria. 


Germany cedes to Japan all rights, etc., notably as to Kiau- 
chau and the railroads, mines, and cables acquired by her treaty 
with China of 1907 and agreements as to Shantung. All German 
rights to the railroad from Tsingtau to Tsinan-fu, including 
mining rights, pass equally to Japan, and the cables from Tsing- 
tau to Shanghai and Che-foo free of all charges. 



The German army must be demobilized within two months of 
the peace. Its strength may not exceed 100,000 including 4,000 


officers, to be devoted exclusively to maintaining internal order 
and control of frontiers. The great German General Staff is 
abolished. The army administrative service is reduced to one- 
tenth of the total in 1913 budget. 

Customs officers, coast guards, etc., may not exceed the 
number in 1913. Local police may be increased with growth in 
population only, and none of these may be assembled for military 

Within three months of the peace all establishments manufac- 
turing arms and munitions of war except those specifically ex- 
cepted must be closed and their personnel dismissed. The amount 
of armament and munitions allowed Germany is laid down in 
detail tables, all in excess to be surrendered or rendered useless. 
The manufacture or importations of asphyxiating, poisonous, 
or other gases is forbidden, as well as importations of arms, 
munitions, and war material. Germany may not manufacture 
such material for foreign governments. 

Conscription is abolished. The enlisted personnel is to be 
maintained by voluntary enlistments for a term of twelve con- 
secutive years. Officers remaining in the service must agree 
to serve to the age of forty-five. Newly appointed officers agree 
to serve for twenty-five years. 

No miHtary schools but those indispensable shall exist in Ger.r 
many two months after the peace. No associations, such as 
societies of discharged soldiers, shooting or touring clubs, etc., 
may occupy themselves with military matters. All measures of 
mobilization are forbidden. 

All fortified works in German territory within a zone of fifty 
kilometers east of the Rhine shall be dismantled within three 
months. Construction of new fortifications is forbidden. Forti- 
fied works on southern and eastern front may remain. Inter- 
allied commissions will see to the execution of the provisions for 
which a time limit is set, the maximum named being three 
months. Germany must afford them every facility to go to 
any part of Germany, pay their expenses, and cost of labor 
and material necessary in destruction or surrender of army 



The German navy must be demobilized within two months ot 
the peace. She will be allowed six small battleships, six light 
cruisers, twelve destroyers, twelve torpedo boats and no sub- 
marines, either military or commercial, with a personnel of 
15,000 men, including officers, and no reserve force of any 
character. Conscription is abolished, only voluntary service 
being permitted, with a minimum period of twenty-five years' 
service for officers and twelve for men. No member of the 
German mercantile marine will be permitted any naval training. 

All German vessels of war in foreign ports and the German 
high-sea fleet interned at Scapa Flow will be surrendered, the 
final disposition to be decided upon by the Allied and Associated 
Powers. Germany must surrender forty-two modern destroyers, 
fifty modem torpedo boats, and all submarines with their salvage 
vessels. War vessels under construction must be broken up, 
other war vessels may be placed in reserve, or used in commerce. 
Ships cannot be replaced except those lost, until at the end of 
twenty years for battleships, and fifteen years for destroyers. 
The largest armored ship permitted Germany will be 10,000 
tons. All German fortifications in the Baltic defending the 
passages through the belts must be demolished. For three 
months after the peace German wireless stations at Nauen, Han- 
over, and Berlin will be permitted to send commercial messages 
only under supervision of the Associated and Allied Powers, 
and no more may be built. 


Germany renounces all title to specified cables, the value of 
such as were privately owned being credited to her against 
reparation indebtedness. The armed forces of Germany must 
not include air forces for more than 100 unarmed seaplanes. 
No dirigibles shall be kept. All the air personnel must be demo- 
bilized within two months except for 1,000 men retained until 
October 1, 1919. No aviation grounds or dirigible sheds are 
allowed within 150 kilometers of the Rhine, or the eastern 


or southern frontiers. Existing installations will be destroyed. 
Manufacture of aircraft is forbidden for six months. All mili- 
tary and naval aeronautical material must be surrendered within 
three months, except the 100 planes specified. 


Repatriation of German prisoners and interned civilians will 
be carried out without delay at Germany's expense by a mixed 
commission of Allies and Germans. The Allies have the right 
to hold German officers until Germany has surrendered persons 
guilty of offenses against the laws and customs of war. Repa- 
triation is conditional on the immediate release of any Allied 
subjects still in Germany. Germany is to restore all property 
belonging to Allied prisoners. 


Both parties will respect and maintain the graves of soldiers 
and sailors buried on their territory and assist commissions 
charged with identifying, registering, etc., erecting monuments 
over the graves, and to afford each other facilities for repatria- 
ting the remains of their soldiers. 



"The Allied and Associated Powers publicly arraign William 
II of Hohenzollern, formerly German Emperor, not for the 
offenses against any criminal law, but for the supreme offense 
against international morality and the sanctity of treaties.'* 

Holland will be requested to surrender the ex-emperor, and » 
tribunal will be set up composed of one judge from each of 
the five great powers, with full guarantees of the right 
of the defense. It will fix the penalty which should be im- 

Persons accused of acts violating the laws and customs of war 
will be tried and punished by military tribunals. If the charges 
affect the nationals of only one state, they will be tried before a 


tribunal of that state; if they affect the nationals of several 
states, they will be tried by joint tribunals of the several states 
concerned. Germany shall surrender all persons so accused and 
all documents and information necessary to insure full knowl- 
edge of the incriminating acts, the discovery of the offenders, etc. 



"The AlHed and Associated Governments affirm and Germany 
accepts the responsibility of herself and her allies for causing 
all the loss and damage to which the Allied and Associated 
Governments have been subjected as a consequence of the war 
imposed upon them by the aggression of Germany and her allies. 
The total obligation of Germany to pay is to be determined 
and notified to her not later than May 1; 1921, by an Interallied 
reparations commission. At the same time a schedule of pay- 
ments to discharge the obligation within thirty years shall be 
presented. . . . She further agrees to restore to the Allies cash 
and certain articles which can be identified. 

Germany shall pay within two years one thousand million 
pounds sterling in either gold, goods, ships, etc. ; this sum being 
included in the first thousand million bond issue referred to 
later. Expenses such as those of the army of occupation and 
payments for foodstuffs, raw materials, etc., may be deducted at 
the Allies' discretion. 

Germany further binds herself to pay all sums borrowed by 
Belgium from her allies as a result of Germany's violation of the 
treaty of 1839, up to November 11, 1918, and will at once issue 
and hand over to the Reparations Commission 5 per cent gold 
bonds falling due in 1926. 

Germany is required to make compensation for all damages 
caused to civilians, such as injury caused by acts of war, ex- 
posure at sea, maltreatment of prisoners ; damages to the Allied 
peoples represented by pensions and separation allowances, to 
property ; damages to civilians forced to labor ; damages in the 
form of fines or levies imposed by the enemy. 


The sums for reparation which Germany is required to pay 
shall become a charge upon her revenues prior to that for the 
service or discharge of any domestic loan. 

In case of voluntary default by Germany the Allied and As- 
sociated Powers shall take measures which Germany agrees not 
to regard as acts of war, and may include economic and financial 
prohibition and reprisals. 

The Reparations Commission shall consist of one representa- 
tive of the United States, Great Britain, France, Italy, and Bel- 
gium, a representative of Serbia or Japan taking the place of 
the Belgian representative when the interests of either country 
are particularly affected, with all other Allied Powers entitled, 
when their claims are under consideration, to the right of repre- 
sentation without voting power. The commission shall permit 
Gormany to give evidence regarding her capacity to pay and 
assure her opportunity to be heard. Permanent headquarters 
will be established at Paris, which will become the exclusive 
agency of the Allies for reparations. Majority vote will prevail, 
except that unanimity is required on questions involving the 
sovereignty of the Allies, the cancellation of all, or part of 
Germany's indebtedness, the time and manner of selling, 
negotiating, etc., bonds issued by Germany. 

The commission may require Germany to give issues of bonds 
from time to time to cover claims not otherwise satisfied. Bond 
issues are required presently of Germany in acknowledgment 
of its debt as follows: 20,000,000,000 marks gold payable not 
later than May 1, 1921, without interest; 40,000,000,000 marks 
gold bonds bearing interest at 5 per cent under terms fixed by 
the commission. Interest on Germany's debt will be 5 per cent, 
unless otherwise determined by the commission. Payments not 
made in gold may be accepted in the form of properties, com- 
modities, businesses, rights, concessions, etc. 

The German Government recognizes the right of the Allies to 
the replacement ton for ton and class for class of all merchant 
ships and fishing boats lost or damaged owing to the war, and 
cedes to the Allies all German merchant ships of 1,600 tons 
gross, and upward; one-half of her ships between 1,600 and 


1,000 tons gross, and one-quarter of her steam trawlers and 
other fishing boats, to be delivered within two months to the 
Reparations Commission. Germany further agrees to build as 
reparation merchant ships to the amount not exceeding 200,000 
tons gross annually during the next five years. All ships used 
for inland navigation taken by Germany from the Allies are to 
be restored within two months ; the amount of loss not covered by 
such restitution to be made up from Germany's river fleet up to 
20 per cent thereof. 

To effect payment by deliveries in kind, Germany is required 
for a period of years varying in each case to deliver coal, coal- 
tar products in specific amounts to the Reparations Commission. 
The conditions of delivery will be modified so as not to interfere 
with Germany's industrial requirements. 


Germany undertakes to devote her economic resources directly 
to the physical restoration of the invaded areas, replacing de- 
stroyed articles by the delivery of animals, machinery, etc., 
existing in Germany and to manufacture materials needed for 

Germany is to deliver to France annually for ten years coal 
equivalent to the prewar output of Nord and Pas de Calais 
mines, and the annual production during above ten-year period. 
Germany further gives options over ten years for delivery of 
7,000,000 tons of coal per year to France, in addition to the 
above, of 8,000,000 tons to Belgium, and of an amount rising 
from 4,500,000 in 1919 to 1920 to 8,500,000 in 1923 to 1924 
to Italy, at prices fixed as prescribed in the treaty. Provision 
is also made for delivery to France of benzol, coal tar and 

Germany is to restore within six months the Koran of the 
Caliph Othman to the King of the Hedjaz, the skull of the Sultan 
Okwawa to Great Britain, and to the French Government papers 
and flags taken in 1870. For destroying the Louvain library 
Germany is to hand over manuscripts, rare books, etc., to the 
equivalent of those destroyed. 


Germany is also to hand over to Belgium the wings of the altar 
piece of "The Adoration of the Lamb'* by the Van Eyck's, now 
in Berlin, and the wings of the altar piece "The Last Supper," 
now in Berlin and Munich. 


Powers to which German territory is ceded will assume a 
portion of the German prewar debt, the amount to be fixed by 
the Reparations Commission, except Alsace-Lorraine and Poland. 
if the value of the German public property in ceded territory 
exceeds the amount of debt assumed, the states to which the 
property is ceded will give credit on reparation for the ex- 
cess, excepting Alsace-Lorraine. Mandatory powers will not 
assume any German debts, or give any credit for German 
Government property. Germany renounces all right of repre- 
sentation on, or control of, state banks, commissions, or like 

Germany is required to pay the total cost of the armies of 
occupation as long as they are maintained in German terri- 
tory, this cost to be a first charge on her resources. The 
cost of reparations is the next charge, after making such 
provisions for payment for imports as the Allies may deem 

Germany is to deliver to the Allied and Associated Powers 
all sums deposited in Germany by Turkey, and Austria- 
Hungary, in connection with the financial support extended 
to them during the war, and to transfer to the Allies all 
claims against Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, or Turkey in 
connection with agreements made during the war. Germany 
confirms the renunciation of the treaties of Bucharest and 

Germany will expropriate any rights or interests of her 
nationals in public utilities in ceded territories, or those 
administered by mandatories, and in Turkey, China, Russia, 
Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria, and transfer them to the 
Reparations Commission which will credit her with their 

War St. 8— Pc 




The contracting powers agree, whether or not they have 
signed and ratified the opium convention of January 23, 
1912, or signed the special protocol opened at the Hague in 
accordance with the resolutions by the third Opium conference 
in 1914, to bring the said convention into force by enacting 
within twelve months of the peace the necessary legislation. 


The Allied and Associated Powers agree that the properties of 
religious missions in territories belonging to or ceded to them 
shall continue in their work under the control of the powers, 
Germany renouncing all claims in their behalf. 



For six months Germany shall impose no tariff duties 
higher than the lowest in force in 1914. For wines, oils, 
vegetable oils, artificial silk, and washed and scoured wool, the 
restriction obtains for two and a half years more. For five 
years, unless extended by the League, Germany must give 
favored-nation clauses treatment to Allied and Associated 
Powers. She shall impose no customs tariff for five years on 
goods originating in Alsace-Lorraine and for three years on 
goods originating in former German territory ceded to Poland, 
with the right of observation of a similar exception for 


Ships of the Allied and Associated Powers shall for five years 
and thereafter under condition of reciprocity, unless the League 
otherwise decides, enjoy the same rights in German ports as 
German vessels, and have most-favored-nation treatment in 


fishing, coast trade, and towage, even in territorial waters. 
Ships of a country having no seacoast may be registered at some 
place within its territory. 


Germany undertakes to give the trade of the Allied and 
Associated Powers safeguards against unfair competition, sup- 
pressing the use of false wrappings and markings and on con- 
dition of reciprocity to respect the laws and judicial decisions of 
Allied and Associated States in respect of regional appellations 
of wines and spirits. 


Germany shall impose no exceptional taxes or restrictions 
upon the nationals of Allied and Associated States for a 
period of five years, and unless the League acts, for an additional 
five years German nationality shall not continue to attach to a 
person who has become a national of an Allied or Associated 


Some forty multilateral conventions are renewed between 
Germany and the Allied and Associated Powers, but special 
conditions are attached to Germany's readmission to sev- 
eral. As to postal and telegraphic conventions Germany 
must not refuse to make reciprocal agreements with new 

She must agree, as respects the radiotelegraphic convention, to 
provisional rules to be communicated to her. In the North Sea 
fisheries, and North Sea liquor traffic, convention rights of 
police and inspection over associated fishing boats shall be exer- 
cised for at least five years only by vessels of these powers. As 
to the international railway union, Germany shall adhere to the 
new convention when formulated. China, as to the Chinese cus- 
toms tariff arrangement of 1905 regarding Whangpoo and the 
Boxer indemnity of 1901 ; France, Portugal, and Rumania as to 
the Hague Convention of 1903, relating to civil procedure; 
and Great Britain and the United States as to Article III of the 


Samoa Treaty of 1899, are relieved of all obligations toward 


Each Allied and Associated State may renew any treaty with 
Germany, in so far as is consistent with the Peace Treaty, by 
giving notice within six months. Treaties entered into by 
Germany since August 1, 1914, with other enemy states, and 
before or since that date with Rumania, Russia, and parts of 
Russia, are abrogated, and concessions granted under pressure 
by Russia to German subjects are annulled. The Allied and 
Associated States are to enjoy most-favored-nation treatment 
under treaties entered into by Germany before August 1, 1914, 
and during the war. 


Clearing houses will be established, one in Germany, and one 
in each Allied and Associated State for the payment of prewar 
debts and those from contracts suspended during the war. For 
adjustment of proceeds of liquidation of enemy property and 
settlement of other obligations each state participating assumes 
responsibility for debts owing its nationals, to nationals of 
enemy states, except in case of prewar insolvency of the debtor. 
Proceeds of sale of enemy properties in each participating state 
may be used to pay the debts owed the nationals of that state. 
Disputes to be settled by the courts of the debtor country. 


Germany shall restore or pay for all enemy property seized 
or damaged by her, the amount to be fixed by a mixed tribunal. 
German property within Allied or Associated States may be 
liquidated as compensation for property of their nationals not 
paid for by Germany, who will compensate her nationals for 
such losses. 

Prewar contracts between Allied and Associated States — ex- 
cepting the United States, Japan, and Brazil, — and German 
nationals are canceled except for debts for accounts already 


For the transfer of property, leases of land, mortgages, etc., 
arbitral tribunals of three members, one from Germany, and 
one each chosen by Associated States, shall have jurisdiction 
over all disputes. 


Fire insurance contracts are not dissolved by the war even if 
premiums have not been paid, but lapse at the date of the first 
premium falling due three months after the peace. Life insur- 
ance contracts may be restored by payment of accumulated pre- 
miums and interest. Marine insurance contracts are dissolved 
by the outbreak of war except where the risk insured against 
had already been incurred. Reinsurance contracts are abrogated 
unless invasion has made it impossible for the reinsured to find 
another reinsurer. Any Associated or Allied Power may cancel 
all contracts running between its nationals and a German life 
insurance company, the latter being obligated to hand over the 
proportion of the assets attributable to such policies. 


Rights to industrial, literary, and artistic property are re- 
established. Special war measures of the powers are ratified, 
and the right reserved to impose conditions on the use of German 
patents and copyrights in the public interest. Except as be- 
tween the United States and Germany prewar licenses and rights 
to sue for infringements committed during the war are canceled. 



Aircraft of Allied and Associated Powers shall have full 
liberty of passage, etc., and equal treatment with German planes 
in German territory and with most-favored-nation planes as 
to commercial traffic. Germany agrees to accept Allied certifi- 
cates of airworthiness, competency, etc., and to apply the con- 
vention relative to aerial navigation concluded between the 
powers to her own aircraft over her own territory. 




Germany shall grant freedom of transit through her terri- 
tories by mail or water to persons, goods, from or to any of the 
Allied and Associated Powers without customs or restrictions. 
The powers shall have equal rights with her own nationals in 
her ports and waterways. 

Free zones existing in German ports on August 1, 1914, must 
be maintained with due facilities as to warehouses, etc., without 
charge except for use and administration. 

The Elbe from the junction of the Ultava, the Ultava from 
Prague, the Oder from Oppa, the Niemen from Grodno, and the 
Danube from Ulm are declared international together with their 
connections, and will be placed under international commissions. 

The Rhine is placed under a central commission to meet at 
Strassburg, within six months of the peace. Germany must 
give France all rights to take water to feed canals between the 
two extreme points of her frontiers. She must also hand over 
all drafts and designs for this part of the river. 

Belgium is permitted to build a Rhine-Meuse canal, Germany 
to construct the part within her territory. The Central Rhine 
Commission may extend its jurisdiction over the lower Moselle, 
upper Rhine and lateral canals. Germany must cede to the 
Allied and Associated Governments certain vessels and facilities 
on all these rivers as specified by an arbiter named by the 
United States. 

In addition to most-favored-nation treatment on her railways, 
Germany agrees to cooperate in through-ticket services between 
Allied, Associated, and other states, to allow the construction of 
improvements and to conform her rolling stock to enable its 
incorporation in trains of the Allied and Associated Powers. 


To assure Czecho-Slovakia access to the sea toward the 
Adriatic she may run her own through trains to Fiume and 


Trieste. Germany will lease her spaces in Hamburg and Stettin, 
the detail to be \/orked out by a commission. 


The Kiel Canal shall be free and open to all ships of all 
nations at peace with Germany; subjects, goods, ships to be 
treated on terms of absolute equality, and no taxes may be im- 
posed but those necessary for upkeep and improvement. 



Members of the League of Nations agree to establish a per- 
manent organization to promote international adjustment of 
labor conditions to consist of an annual conference and a labor 
office, the former composed of four representatives of each state, 
two from the government and one each from employers and 

The international labor office will be established at Geneva 
as a part of the League. It is to collect and distribute 
information on labor throughout the world, publish a periodical, 
and prepare agenda for the conference. The first conference 
will take place in October, 1919, at Washington to discuss the 
eight-hour day, prevention of unemployment, child labor, and 
similar questions. 

Nine principles of labor conditions are recognized in the 
treaty. They include the principle that labor should not be 
regarded as a mere commodity; the right of association of em- 
ployers and employees; a wage adequate to maintain a reason- 
able standard of life; the eight-hour day, or forty-eight hour 
week; a weekly rest of twenty-four hours, including Sunday; 
abolition of child labor, education, and proper physical devel- 
opment of children, equal pay for equal work for men and 
women; equitable treatment of all workers lawfully resident 
therein, including foreigners; a system of inspection in which 
women shall take part. 




As a guaranty for the execution of the treaty, German terri- 
tory to the west of the Rhine with the bridgeheads will be occu- 
pied by Allied and Associated troops for fifteen years. If 
Germany faithfully carries out conditions, certain districts, in- 
cluding the Cologne bridgehead, will be evacuated in live years, 
certain other districts and territories nearest the Belgian frontier 
after ten years, and remainder after fifteen years. 

If Germany fails to observe her obligations during occupation, 
or after fifteen years, the whole or part of the areas will be 
immediately reoccupied. If before the expiration of the fifteen 
years Germany complies with all her treaty undertakings, the 
occupying forces will be withdrawn immediately. 

All German troops at present in territories east of the new 
frontier shall return as soon as the Allies deem wise. 



Geimany agrees to recognize the full validity of the treaties 
of peace and additional conventions to be concluded by the Allied 
and Associated Powers with the powers allied with Germany, 
to agree to the decisions to be taken as to the territories of 
Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and Turkey, and to recognize the 
new states in the frontiers to be fixed for them. Germany 
agrees not to put forward any pecuniary claims against Allied 
or Associated Powers signing the present treaty based on events 
previous to the coming into force of the treaty. 




Late Commander of the 198th Battalion, Canadian Buffs 


By lieutenant colonel JOHN A. COOPER 

Late Commander of the 198th Battalion, Canadian Buffs 

TTTHEN the dark cloud broke on August 4, 1914, Canada was 
' ' not wholly unprepared. While not a militaristic people, 
Canadians had always recognized that it was the duty of every 
able-bodied citizen to be prepared to defend his country in case 
of need. That principle had underlain the military policy of the 
nineteenth century both before and after Confederation. Every 
citizen of fighting age was theoretically a soldier, more or less 
prepared to take his share in national defense. 

To this was added, in later years, a feeling that some day 
Canadians might be called upon to take a part in the defense of 
the British Empire should it become engaged in a supreme 
struggle. This feeling developed during the South African War 
when Canada took over the last garrison duties from the Im- 
perial forces as well as the naval stations at Halifax and 
Esquimalt. The obligation of contributing men to Imperial 
defense was admitted and discussed at the various Imperial Con- 
ferences between 1900 and 1914. Assisted by British experts, 
certain military and naval preparations had been made with the 
intention of meeting any national emergency and any imperial 
necessity which might arise. 

While these grave obligations may have rested lightly on the 
majority of the people engaged in agriculture, commerce, and 
railway building, the country was not mentally unprepared for 
the great call of August, 1914. This explains in part why the 
recruiting of her early battalions and the prompt dispatch of 
her first contingent of 33,000 men was so enthusiastically ac- 
complished. Division followed division until in about fifteen 
months Canada had a fighting army corps in France. This 
accomplishment surprised herself not more than it surprised the 



Allies and th?^ enemy. Canada's enlistment during the five 
years of activity totaled one-thirteenth of her population. Over 
four hundred thousand men, out of a population of about eight 
millions, actually crossed the ocean. Four divisions fought as 
such in France. Railway troops worked with every British 
Army, and forestry battalions did almost all the work of that 
nature required to supply the needs of both French and British 
forces on the western front. The casualties among Canadian 
troops were quite equal to those sustained by the more numerous 
armies of the United States, because of the greater duration of 
Canadian service. 

Such success as the Canadians had in fighting was due largely 
to inheritance and environment. Many of those who fought 
were of British birth or were English, Scotch, Irish, or Welsh 
once or twice removed. The military instincts of the British and 
French races had been preserved to a remarkable degree in the 
Dominion. Added to this was the energy, adaptability, and 
initiative developed in a people living in small communities 
scattered through the vast open spaces of a country almost equal 
in area to the whole of Europe. The pluck of the pioneer, the 
tenacity of the settler, the self-reliance of the rider of the plains, 
the initiative of the woodsman, the skill of the shantyman and 
the prospector — all these combined to give the Canadian army 
a quality second to none among those engaged in the Great 
World War. 

Remarkable also was the development of officer ability. The 
Canadian army, after the first two years, was officered entirely 
by Canadians. The business man, with his experience in or- 
ganization and executive, became a military administrator in a 
wonderfully short space of time. The corps commander had 
never been in any military school except the Canadian militia. 
Of the seven or eight men who served as divisional commanders, 
not more than three could qualify as professional soldiers before 
the war. Of the brigadiers and battalion commanders probably 
90 per cent had never attended a military school for more 
than a month. Canada's army was a citizen army, commanded 
and administered by men without business training. Such pro- 


fessional soldiers as Canada had before the war became ad- 
mkiistrators rather than leaders in battle. The war developed so 
much that was new in tactics and technique that the militia 
officer had almost an equal chance with the so-called military 

If the individual soldier ranked high in initiative and valor, 
he also must be credited with a loyalty to discipline and to his 
national traditions. He quickly acquired steadiness and obe- 
dience to his officers. He respected himself and his superiors. 
While never servile nor obsequious, he rendered such service as 
made the fighting units effective because of their cohesion and 
compactness. That was remarkably exhibited in the first great 
engagement in which Canadians took part, the Second Battle of 
Ypres. It was equally in evidence at Amiens, Arras, Cambrai, 
and Mons during the final period of the war. The Canadian 
never forgot he was a Canadian. He had such a sublime faith 
in himself and in his army as a whole, that his ambition was 
only fully realized when he was asked to do more than was 
usually asked of a soldier in this titanic struggle. He never 
despised the enemy, but he never lost the feeling that he was 
physically and mentally the enemy's superior. Excepting, per- 
haps, the Guards Division, the Fifty-first Division, and the 
Australians, the Canadian army yielded the palm to no portion 
of the British fighting forces. 

Finally, Canadian success in the field of war was but a reflec- 
tion of the determination of those who remained at home and 
who with wonderful fortitude, self-sacrifice, and determination 
backed the army to the limit. There were few tears and less 
mawkishness when the battalions moved out from their home 
towns on the long trail. The sentiment of the time was stem 
because of the prevailing spirit of duty and responsibility. But 
no nation has paid more honor to those who served nor has done 
more toward reestablishing the warrior in citizen life than 
have the Canadian people. If the pay of the soldier was good 
and the allowance to his dependents adequate, the effort and 
money expended on his reestablishment have been most gener- 
ous. In raising Red Cross gratuities and other patriotic funds, 


the motto of Canadians was "Give till it hurts." In the produc- 
tion of food and of war material, the nation accomplished the 
seemingly impossible. In subscriptions to the national loans, 
patriotism reached heights undreamed of by bankers and 
financial experts. Nearly seventy million shells, made and 
exported by a country that never before made an explosive in- 
strument of this kind ; the purchase of over two thousand million 
dollars worth of Dominion Government bonds by a people who 
had never bought a million of such in their history — these are 
the tangible results by which one may measure the depth of 
Canadian loyalty and determination. 

When the war broke out, the Hon. (afterward Sir) Sam 
Hughes was Minister of Militia and Defense. He possessed 
militia experience extending over many years and had seen 
active service in South Africa. The possibility of war in Europe 
in which the Empire troops would be engaged had long been in 
his mind, and he had studied in advance the possibilities of such 
a situation. Consequently when the first contingent was author- 
ized he proceeded to discharge both the civil duties of Minister 
of Militia and the military duties of Chief of Staff. He it was 
who recruited, organized, administered, and commanded this first 
Canadian army. He was the driving power which brought 
success in the speedy dispatch of the first contingent and the 
raising and the training of subsequent divisions. 

This very success in the end brought a change. General 
Hughes centralized too much power in himself to please all those 
with whom he was associated. The purchasing of supplies for 
the army was taken from his department and put in charge of 
a purchasing board. A Shell Committee was formed at his sug- 
gestion and this later grew into the Imperial Munitions Board. 
The administration of the troops in England was gradually 
organized and eventually placed under General (afterward Sir 
Richard) Turner at Argyll House, London. The control of the 
army in the field passed as a matter of course to the British 
authorities, who were responsible for food, clothing, transport, 
and administration from the moment the troops crossed the 


Sir Sam Hughes resigned his post as Minister of Militia in the 
autumn of 1916. He was succeeded by Sir Edward Kemp, who 
later went to England as Minister of the Overseas Forces of 
Canada. His place in Canada was taken by General The Hon. 

o. Mew burn, who remained Minister for some time after the 
war closed. 

In the field the first commanding officer of the little Canadian 
army was General Alderson, an English officer of experience. 
He was in charge when the First Division made its unique repu- 
tation at the Second Battle of Ypres. Later on General Byng, a 
younger English officer, was selected to command the corps, 
which he did with complete success. In process of time a 
Canadian was selected in the person of General (afterward Sir) 
Arthur W. Currie. He took over in 1917 and commanded with 
general satisfaction for the remainder of the war. On his return 
to Canada he was made Inspector General, the highest purely 
military office in the Canadian army next to that of the Governor 
General who is Commander in Chief. 

After the Fifth Division was filled up, the unsystematic practice 
of sending reenforcements overseas by battalions and batteries 
was discontinued. In January, 1917, a new method of furnishing 
drafts was outlined. This necessitated the reorganizing of the 
whole army on a territorial basis. There was created in each 
military district in Canada a home battalion, with corresponding 
battalions in England and in France. The scheme was as follows : 

M. D. No. 1 — Western Ontario Regiment (one depot battalion 
in Canada, two reserve battalions in England, and 1st, 18th, 
160th, 161st, and 2d Pioneers in the field). 

M. D. No. 2— 1st Central Ontario Regiment (3d, 4th, 5th, 15th, 
20th, 75th, 123d, 124th, 134th, 198th, and 208th Bus.).— 2d 
Central Ontario Regiment (4th C. M. R., 54th, 58th, 102d, 
116th, 119th, 125th, and 164th). 

M. D. No. 3— Eastern Ontario Regiment (P. P. C. L. I., 2d, 
21st, 38th, 156th). 

M, D. No. 4— 1st Quebec Regiment (5th C. M. R., 13th, 14th, 
24th, 42d, 87th). 

M. D. No. 5— 2d Quebec Regiment (22d and 159th). 


M. D. No. 6— Nova Scotia Regiment (R. C. R., 25th, 85th, 

M. D. No. 7— New Brunswick Regiment (26th, 100th). 

M. D. No. 10— Manitoba Regiment (8th, 16th, 27th, 43d, 52d, 
78th, and 107th Regt.). 

M. D. No. 11— British Columbia Regiment (2d C. M. R., 7th, 
29th, 47th, and 72d). 

M. D. No. 12— Saskatchewan Regiment (3d C. M. R., 5th, 23th. 
and 46th). 

M. D. No. 13— Alberta Regiment (10th, 31st, 49th, and 

The idea behind this scheme was to effect a closer connection 
between the military patriotism and pride of the home distinct 
with the battalions serving overseas. The hope was distinctly 
expressed that **the Canadian militia should inherit the honors 
and distinctions won in battle by the Canadian Expeditionary 

There is no question that this measure was founded in wisdom 
and that it worked tolerably well. It was not always possible 
to maintain it exactly, since the smaller provinces had too many 
battalions for their resources in men. Consequently Ontario, 
which produced most men proportionately, was called upon to 
reenforce units credited to other provinces. For example, the 
2d C. M. R. ceased to be a British Columbian unit early in 
1918, although its commanding officer was a British Columbian 
who continued to give British Columbia officers the preference. 
This, however, was quite on a par with the selection of generals 
in France; for, when the war closed, Ontario which contributed 
half the men in the ranks, did not have a single brigadier or 
divisional commander on active duty. 

It is also interesting to note that the hope of the originators 
of the scheme with regard to the old militia inheriting the 
"Honors and distinctions" of the C. E. F. has been negatived by 
the action of the militia authorities of 1919 in disbanding all 
militia units which existed previous to the war. This action seems 
to have been based on a mistaken conception of the important 
part played by the Canadian militia from 1860 to 1914. 



General Sir Arthur William Ciirrie. who commanded the Canadian Army Corps in France from 
1917 to 1919. He was later made Canadian Inspector (ieneral and Principal of McGill University 



Early in 1918 came one of the greatest discussions of policy 
that ever engaged the Canadian army leaders. The British had 
decided to reduce their brigades from four battalions to three 
to conform to the German changes and for other good and suf- 
ficient reasons. The Canadians were requested to conform to 
the new organization, and the chiefs of Argyll House decided 
that this should be done by creating two corps of three divisions 
each instead of one corps of four divisions. Thus, instead of 
five divisions with 12 battalions of infantry each, there would be 
six divisions of 9 battalions each, and the number of infantry 
battalions would be reduced from 60 to 54. This was to be 
accomplished by breaking up four battalions of the Fifth Divi- 
sion, the infantry of which was still in Witley Camp, England, 
and turning the other two into pioneer battalions for the Fifth 
and Sixth Divisions. 

The scheme was so far planned and executed that the two bat- 
talions of the Fifth, chosen to be pioneers, had already com- 
menced their training as such, and the four battalions to be 
eliminated had already been decided upon. Argyll House had 
even chosen, unofficially, the new staffs required. 

The proposal was negatived eventually by the influence of the 
corps commander. Quite naturally, he did not take kindly 
to the reduction of his corps from four to three divisions. His 
four divisional commanders did not relish having their com- 
mands reduced from twelve battalions of infantry to nine. 
A protest was lodged with Sir Edward Kemp, who had recently 
arrived in England as Minister of Militia Overseas. After 
consultation with Ottawa, Sir Edward Kemp decided that Gen- 
eral Currie was right and the request of the British authori- 
ties was refused. The logical consequence of that refusal was 
the break-up of the infantry of the Fifth Division, since four 
divisions were sufficient for the one corps which it was decided to 
maintain. Its artillery and engineers were already in France, 
and its machine-gun companies also passed over intact. The 
artillery retained its identity until the end of the war. 

After the break-up of the Fifth Division, and because reenforce- 

ments for some months had exceeded casualties, the corps corn- 
War St. 8— Qc 


mander found himself with an abundance of troops. He there- 
fore decided to enlarge his establishment, increasing the number 
of men in each infantry battalion, to change his pioneer bat- 
talions into engineer brigades with greatly increased strength, 
and to create machine-gun battalions instead of machine-gun 
companies. Even these changes left him with surplus men, and 
so came the creation of The Hughes Brigade (4,234), The Mc- 
Phail Brigade (4,776), and BrutineFs Brigade, afterward 
known as the "Independent Force." The latter was composed 
largely of motor machine-gun units, cyclists, and cavalry, and 
was used as emergency corps troops. There was also an engineer 
motor-transport company, a tramway company, a field-survey 
company, several searchlight companies and various other corps 

Here is seen one of the difficulties of coordinating the military 
forces of the Empire, a problem which tried the patience of the 
higher command. The overseas troops were magnificent in 
their fighting qualities, but the overseas officers were not always 
as sympathetic with the higher military control as might have 
been expected. The overseas business man makes a good soldier 
and a good general, but in either case he is prone to exhibit those 
elemental qualities which make him a trenchant and resourceful 

Another of the outstanding problems which faced the Canadian 
army was the question of the supply of officers. Canada had 
an oversupply of officers from the start, and the army never 
quite recovered from the malady. This surplus was continually 
seeking to be absorbed while the officers in the field were quite 
as assiduous in tiying to keep it from fulfilling its desires. Most 
officers who went over with the First and Second Divisions had 
friends of equal civilian rank with themselves in their commands 
and they desired to see these men rewarded v/ith commissions 
earned in the field. As all four divisions were controlled largely 
by those who arrived in France in 1915, the surplus officer in the 
Canadian camps in England was usually forced to return home 
without fighting; to seek imperial service as town major — the 
lowliest employment in the army ; or to serve as supernumerary 


without recognition. When the infantry of the Fifth Division 
was broken up, the surplus officer question became even more 
acute. As an example of the injustice which necessarily re- 
sulted, it may be cited that one former commanding officer from 
the Fifth Division was killed when acting as platoon commander 
in a battalion in the Second Division. 

Another unfortunate result of the surplus officer was the 
creation of new posts for those who had to be absorbed. Many 
young officers were given unnecessary jobs in brigade, divisional 
and corps staffs who but made extra work for those who had 
already enough to do. In other words, the heads of the staff 
were overburdened with a multiplicity of juniors. The Canadian 
corps had, it is said, nearly as many staff officers as any other 
two corps in France. The primary causes, it must be remem- 
bered, were the free creation of officers in Canada and the lac^^ 
of coordination between those in control of this function in the 
field and at home. 

After the United States came into the war a British Canadian 
Recruiting Commission was established in that country to enable 
Britishers of military age to join either the British or Canadian 
armies. This was done with the approval and consent of the 
United States Congress. Twenty-seven recruiting depots and 
three divisional headquarters were established and by the end of 
the war 60,000 volunteers had been dealt with, of whom 42,000 
were accepted. Of these about 30,000 went to the Canadian 

The official report (Memo. No. 5) regarding the later phases 
of this work says : "Effective stimulus was given to the recruit- 
ing operations of the Mission by the announcement and conclu- 
sion of negotiations for satisfactory conventions between the 
United States and Great Britain and Canada, providing for 
mutual compulsory military service, whereby those of military 
age were compelled within a limited period to elect between 
military service in their country of residence or of origin." 

When the war was concluded and the work of disbanding and 
repatriating the army was begun, there was again some conflict 
of opinion between the authorities at home and those in the field. 


The plan proposed by the officials in Canada provided for send- 
ing home the men in the order of enlistment. The corps 
authorities opposed this and asked that the units be sent home 
intact, disregarding the date of enlistment. Either scheme had 
its difficulties, but as usual the corps authorities had their way. 
The Third Division units came home first, followed by those of 
the First, Second, Fourth, and details. The various units re- 
turned to their territorial headquarters in Canada practically 

Thus ended Canada's greatest war achievement — a chapter 
full of conflicting theories and methods, redolent of minor errors 
and clash of ambitions, but on the whole creditable and glorious. 
Above everything else the patriotism, courage, gallantry, and 
self-sacrifice of all classes of people in the greatest of the British 
dominions overseas shines conspicuously and brilliantly. 

The deeds of the Canadian army in this World War will vitalize 
the pages of the nation's history in all the years-to-be. The 
monuments in France and Canada, the sacred colors in cathe- 
drals and public buildings, the bronze tablets which will be 
erected everywhere, will gather up and preserve the memories 
of those who died that others might live. Meantime those who 
served know that in all that was done they but followed the simple 
path of duty. 




CANADA was no more prepared than any other nation for 
the outbreak of the Great War. Because of their geo- 
graphical isolation from the turmoil of international politics 
the Canadians were even more incredulous of war, in their 
mental attitude, than their kin across the waters. It is against 
this important fact as a background that one must con- 
sider the achievements of the Canadians during the war — 
and marvel. . 

Theodore Roosevelt once suggested that to maintain a "fight- 
ing edge" men should do continuous battle, but the Canadians 
have demonstrated the fallacy of this precept, in a military 
sense at least. 

For over a hundred years Canada had known only an atmos- 
phere of peace and almost continuous prosperity. Truly, during 
that period the mother country had frequently waged warfare 
along the outskirts of the Empire, and had even engaged in one 
or two wars of considerable magnitude, but never had she felt 
the danger so pressing as to send a call for help across the 

Canadian help was, indeed, offered during the Crimean cam- 
paign, but before this impulse could materialize on the field 
of battle the need had ceased to exist. Again, during the South 
African struggle, the same impulse had been manifested, and 
nearly eight thousand Canadian volunteers did eventually reach 
the fighting front against the Boers. But these had been inspired 



by a spirit of adventure, rather than by any sense of patriotic 

There was everything in their environment to develop peaceful 
instincts in the Canadians. To the east and west were limitless 
expanses of sea; northward was the frozen Arctic; and to the 
southward was another people who, though thirteen times greater 
in population, was equally isolated from the political jealousies 
and rivalries of Europe, and their kinsmen in speech, customs, 
and, to a large extent, in blood also. From this direction no 
danger had threatened during the century, and danger from 
across the seas had been of too intangible a quality to reach the 

Under these conditions the Canadians had devoted themselves 
exclusively to the labors and arts of peace : of agriculture, manu- 
facturing, and trade and commerce. Vast natural resources lay 
before them awaiting exploitation and development. The 
psychology of the Canadian was entirely constructive. 

There remained, of course, the sense of responsibility involved 
in the ties binding the people to the British Empire, a sub- 
conscious realization that when Great Britain was at war, Can- 
ada, too, would be at war. Yet here again environment and local 
conditions tended to reduce this consciousness to the quality of 
abstract theory, a mere convention. The native Canadian, though 
of British ancestry, knew England only through hearsay or the 
written word. And a considerable portion of Canada's popula- 
tion felt not even the tie of a common speech and literature. In 
so far as they recognized this bond, the temperamental self- 
reliance of the Canadian people was inclined to reduce it to a 
sentiment, rather than any deep feeling of dependence on the 
power of the British navy. A keen sense of economic inde- 
pendence and strength served still further to intensify this feel- 
ing. Whatever allegiance the average Canadian owed to the 
Empire must have been, and undoubtedly was, of the nature of 
an ideal — something far more abstract than the ordinary senti- 
ment of patriotism — love of country. 

In a people in this state of mind the first threat of a great war 
involving themselves could only have roused varying degrees of 


skepticism — while the first actual confirmation must have struck 
them with the impact of a thunderbolt. 

Canadians were shocked — unutterably, outrageously shocked. 

Casual observers, basing their judgment on the mental attitude 
of the people, as briefly outlined above, might reasonably have 
expected a quick return to the previous state of mind, at most a 
strong sympathy for the mother country, which might manifest 
itself in substantial contributions of funds, supplies, and per- 
haps a few battalions of enthusiastic adventurers. For, whatever 
might have been said at the time as a recruiting argument, 
Canadians felt no danger of immediate, or even future, invasion 
by European armies. When it came to that they had every 
reason to believe that the hundred million population of the 
United States would stand solidly with them, quite aside from 
the Monroe Doctrine. There was, of course, the possibility that 
Canada^s trade with Great Britain, totaling half a billion dollars 
a year, would be destroyed in case of naval disaster to the 
British navy, but that would be only temporary. Whoever con- 
quered would be willing to pay a stiff price for a portion of 
Canada's tremendous wheat crops, nearly 140,000,000 bushels in 
1913. Economically Canada was in no way dependent on 
European countries. 

But such a chain of deductions would have ignored the chief 
premise — the spirit of the people who made up the Canadian 
nation. For a hundred years, indeed, the people of Canada had 
pursued the paths of peace ; for three generations they had known 
no stronger passion than that involved in ordinary political 
partisan strife. 

Vice and idleness, not the pursuits of peace, render men soft 
and flabby in spirit. A pioneer stock does not require the con- 
tinuous excitement of military warfare to maintain its com- 
bativeness; it needs only a just cause to rouse it to furnace heat. 
And that just cause the Canadians found in the attitude of Eng- 
land that Germany and Austria should not dominate the political 
destinies of peoples outside their frontiers. Within twenty-four 
hours all Canada was aflame with the war passion, but it was a 
passion thoroughly controlled by the reason behind it. 


"When Great Britain is at war, Canada is at war!" became 
a popular slogan. Intermingling with that supreme indignation, 
with the fervent loyalty to the empire, was the sinking dread of 
the tremendous sacrifices, not only in material interests, but in 
blood, which would have to be made, and that dread was terrible 
because of the profound sincerity and determination of the people 
to enter into the struggle, to stay until the bitter end. There 
v/as nothing jubilant in the wave of enthusiasm which swept 
over Canada in favor of the war during that first week in August ; 
that note would have been out of harmony with the grim de- 
termination which was the dominating element in the popu- 
lar emotion which swept over the land. It was not the sort 
of emotion which would naturally manifest itself in noisy 
street demonstrations, especially among people of Anglo-Saxon 

Such demonstrations did, indeed, occur, especially in those dis- 
tricts where the population was predominantly of Latin blood. 
In Montreal and Quebec vast throngs paraded the streets during 
the first few days of August, 1914, carrying Belgian, French, and 
British flaigs, singing the '^Marseillaise'* and "Rule Britannia," 
and cheering the orators who addressed the crowds. But in 
Toronto and in other cities in the English-speaking districts the 
crowds, though they filled the streets before the bulletin boards 
of the principal newspapers, maintained a silence which was 
even more impressive. 

Whatever undercurrents of opinion there might have been 
against a whole-hearted support of the Empire in the struggle, 
such as manifested itself openly in practically all the belligerent 
European countries, found little expression in Canada. Political 
party issue sank for the time being out of sight, and the popular 
voice, as expressed through the newspapers of diverse shades 
of opinion, and through the popular political leaders, was prac- 
tically unanimous. And that voice demanded that Canada should 
strain every resource, should offer every available man, in 
Britain's support. 

The Toronto "Globe," chief organ of the Liberals, was one of 
the first to enunciate the main issue of the great struggle im- 


pending — that it was a gigantic contest between the forces of 
autocracy and democracy, and that, in supporting England, 
Canada was not alone fulfilling her obligations to the mother 
country, but she was championing the cause of human liberty 
the world over. 

"Because it is the world's fight for freedom,'* spoke that jour- 
nal on August 4, 1914, '^Britain, reluctantly but resolutely, 
speaks the word, and Canada also answers aye." 

"There can be no question as to Canada's duty if the Euro- 
pean War goes on," said the Toronto "Star" on August 4, 
1914. "This country must do all it can to support the arms 
of Britain." 

The Toronto "World," representing the Conservatives, urged 
the immediate organization of a fighting force of 50,000 men, 
to be sent across as soon as they could be trained. The Montreal 
"Star," having invited expressions of opinion from some 
hundreds of prominent political and industrial leaders and 
municipal officials, published them in full. Of the many 
pages of telegrams printed, only two failed to emphasize 
the need of an imm.ediate contribution of money and men. 
The mayor of Quebec, the center of French Canada, was in 
favor of "all we can do to help the Empire in money, arms, 
and men." Alphonse Verville, representing French-Canadian 
labor elements in Parliament, believed that "we should be pre- 
pared to give Great Britain all the assistance she needs." Turn- 
ing to his fellow citizens, the French-Canadian m.ayor of Mont- 
real said: "The war is as much in defense of Canada as of 
Great Britain." 

Sir Wilfrid Laurier, representing the opposition in Parlia- 
ment, made a statement on August 4, 1914, of which the follow- 
ing is a part: 

"I have often declared that if the mother country were ever 
in danger, or if danger ever threatened, Canada should render 
assistance to the fullest extent in her power. In view of the 
critical nature of the situation I have canceled all my meetings. 
Pending such great questions there should be a truce to party 


Even in the French provinces demonstrations of enthusiasm 
soon passed, giving place to intense energy in preparation. With 
a silent determination the people faced the gigantic task before 
them, unappalled. And a gigantic task it was, apparently, to a 
people so unprepared materially for the prosecution of warfare 
on so tremendous a scale as was now demanded of them, if their 
aid was to count. But if the spirit was there, so were the ma- 
terial resources, the raw material' — and the men. 



SOME few words should be devoted to the personnel of the 
Government which immediately took supreme charge of the 
almost superhuman preparations which Canada undertook as her 
share in the gigantic struggle, and which were so successfully 
carried to a conclusion. Not only was this task which the Gov- 
ernment faced a tremendous one, but it was of a nature ex* 
tremely foreign to its supposed qualifications. To practically all 
of these men the science of waging war, or preparing for war, 
was as strange as it was to the majority of Canada's peaceful 

Sir Robert Borden and his ministers had only been in office ^ 
three years, and of their number only one had ever had pre- 
vious experience as a Cabinet minister. It was essentially a 
Government for the handling of peace problems, so that there 
is little to be wondered at if minor mistakes were committed and 
occasional criticism did manifest itself. 

The premier and his colleagues met the crisis and assumed 
their new responsibilities with a calm efficiency. There was 
nothing in the personality of the premier to make him a popular 
or a picturesque figure, but the fact remains that he so far 
fulfilled his responsibilities that at the end of the war he was 
one of the two premiers of the belligerent governments who 


had not passed from power — who still held the confidence of 
their people. 

Associated with Sir Robert Borden was Thomas White (later 
Sir Thomas), Minister of Finance, whose experience in big- 
scale finance had been gained in Toronto business circles. To 
no small degree was the financial equilibrium which Canada 
maintained during the first few months of the war due to 
his ability. 

Lieutenant General Sir Sam Hughes, as Minister of Militia, 
assumed an order importance in the Cabinet which his position 
had not warranted in times of peace. Bluff, frank, independent 
of public opinion almost to an unpleasant degree where his own 
convictions were concerned, he was the object of more criticism 
and censure than any of his colleagues. As an advocate of ex- 
tensive military preparedness he had not been popular before 
the war and had often been denounced as a militarist and a 
jingo. Under his direction came the preparation for and the 
organization of the military forces which Canada was to send 
across seas to fight in France. In the main, what he accom- 
plished speaks for him. 

On the shoulders of these three men fell the m.ain responsi- 
bilities of preparing Canada for assuming her share in the 
Great War. 

The work of the other members of the Government brought 
them less into the public eye. These were Sir George E. Foster, 
Minister of Trade and Commerce, the one member who had ex- 
perience in a previous administration; Robert Rogers, Minister 
of Public Works; J. Douglas Hazen, Minister of Marine, Fish- 
eries, and Naval Affairs, under whose jurisdiction came the de- 
fense of the coast and harbors; Martin Burrel, Minister of 
Agriculture, who popularized the slogan ^'Patriotism and Pro- 
duction"; the Hon. C. J. Doherty, Minister of Justice; the Hon. 
Frank Cochrane, Minister of Railways; the Hon. W. J. Roche, 
Minister of the Interior; the Hon. T. W. Crothers, Minister of 
Labor; the Hon. J. D. Reid, Minister of Customs; and the Hon. 
A. E. Kemp and the Hon. J. A. Lougheed, ministers without port- 
folios. The interests of the two million French-speaking popula- 


tion of the Dominion were indirectly represented in the Govern- 
ment by the Hon. L. P. Pelletier, Postmaster General ; the Hon. 
W. B. Nantel, Minister of Inland Revenue, and the Hon. Louis 
Coderre, Secretary of State. 

Many and varied v^ere the special war problems which the 
Government had to handle, but first and foremost was that of 
organizing and equipping a military force. With characteristic 
energy General Hughes hurried to this, his special task. On 
the last day of July, 1914, he had already hurried to Ottawa 
and there called an emergency meeting of the Militia Council, 
comprising Colonel E. Fiset, D. S. 0., Deputy Minister; 
!Colonel W. G. Gwatkin, Chief of the General Staff; Colonel 
V. A. S. Williams, A. D. C, Adjutant General; and Major 
General D. A. Macdonald, C. M. G., I. S. 0., Quartermaster Gen- 
eral. At this conference it was decided, subject to the approval 
of the governor general and the premier, that an initial force 
of 20,000 should be organized, equipped, and sent across if war 
was declared. 

By the time that all doubt on that point was past General 
Hughes and his staff of assistants had already formulated their 
plan of action. From all parts of the country came offers of aid 
from men who had had military training. 

Practically there was very little to build upon; Canada had 
barely a nucleus around which to create that big and efficient 
military organization which afterward became so powerful a 
factor in the military situation in France. The Royal Mili- 
tary College at Kingston had, indeed, turned out hundreds of 
young military officers, but most of them had accepted com- 
missions in the British army and were now scattered all over 
the world in the British possessions as officers in British 

Everything must be created anew. But the crude material, 
the man power, was there. According to the census taken in 
1911 there were a little over a million and a half men between 
the ages of twenty and forty-four, of which a trifle over half were 
married, with families dependent on them. Allowing for a 
normal increase in the population, and for the fact that the 


military age was from eighteen to forty-five, and eliminating the 
physically unfit, Canada had available about a million and a half 
for active military service. 

On August 6, 1914, the Government issued a call for volunteers 
for the formation of the First Army Division, to number about 
21,000 men. The responses came immediately and in a volume 
greater than could be handled. To this first quota Ontario and 
the West contributed most generously. No more men were 
needed for the time being, though probably a hundred thousand 
men could have been obtained v/ithin those first few weeks, had 
they been needed. It was not till this first contingent had gone 
through its preliminary training and had been equipped and sent 
to training camp in England that the second call was issued, for 
another 21,000 men, in November, 1914. 



npHE calling together of the men, during the earlier period of 
-*- the war at least, was the easiest part of the work in hand. The 
training and equipment of these first two contingents required 
all of the rest of the first war year. Eight thousand horses had 
to be purchased and shipped from all parts of the country to the 
training camps. Provisions to feed men and horses had also to 
be gathered in from all the Provinces and shipped across after 
the first contingent had sailed. Over a hundred special trains 
were needed to accomplish this before the end of the year, after 
which, as the Canadian forces on the other side increased, they 
were augmented in proportion. With the first contingent there 
was shipped a consignment of war material including seventy 
field guns alone. The total value of this first shipment ap- 
proached close to $14,000,000. 

Nor were these supplies confined to the use of Canadian troops 
exclusively. On August 6, 1914, when war had become a definite 


certainty, the governor general sent the following message to the 
British colonial secretary: 

"My advisers request me to inform you that the people of 
Canada, through their Government, desire to offer one million 
bags of flour, of ninety-eight pounds each, as a gift to the people 
of the United Kingdom, to be placed at the disposal of his 
Majesty's Government, and to be used for such purposes as they 
may deem expedient." 

This munificent gift was accepted with deepest expressions of 
gratitude, and with the assurance that "we can never forget the 
generosity and promptitude of this gift and the patriotism from 
which it springs/* Two hundred trains, of thirty cars each, were 
required to transport this flour, valued at $3,000,000, to the port 
whence it was shipped. 

Meanwhile, during the first few weeks after the call for men 
had been issued, hurried preparations were made to establish 
the training camps in which they were to be received and 
trained. Most notable of these mobilization centers was Val- 
cartier Camp, ideally situated outside of Quebec. Under the 
direction of Captain William Price, Lieutenant Colonel E. H. 
Burstall, and Lieutenant Colonel W. McBain, extensive housing 
accommodations were erected, roads constructed, and all the 
improvements of a modem city were installed. One prominent 
feature was three miles of rifle butts for rifle practice. Here 
33,000 recruits were gathered and housed before three months 
had passed. 

The training of the recruits in the Canadian mobilization 
camps was, for obvious reasons, only of the most elementary sort. 
First of all there was a dearth of competent instructors, which 
could be more plentifully supplied in England. And then there 
was the psychological factor; it was difficult to make the men 
realize the seriousness of militaiy discipline on native soil, so 
distant as it was from the seat of war. Therefore the men were 
taught little more than how to march in proper formation before 
they were shipped to England, where they were to be more fully 
"licked into shape" in the Canadian training camps established 


Once on the other side, immersed in the tense war feel- 
ing which permeated the English people, almost within sound 
of the big guns which were already thundering close to the 
gates of Paris, the Canadian recruit came to a profound 
realization of the full significance of the situation and his re- 
sponsibilities. Under these conditions he quickly relinquished 
the last vestige of that intense individualism so characteristic 
of the sons of pioneers, an excellent quality in a guerrilla 
fighter, but not so desirable in the units of a large fighting 

During the last week of September, 1914, the first contingent 
of recruits at Valcartier Camp began embarking for its overseas 
journey. On the 21st the premier and several of his Cabinet 
members formally delivered a farewell address to these men 
about to leave their native country for war service. At Quebec 
a great fleet of transports, thirty-two in number, were anchored 
in readiness, and as each received its assignment of troops, it 
lifted anchor and sailed quietly and secretly down the river, 
toward the open sea, there to meet a convoy of warships, under 
the command of Rear Admiral Rosslyn E. Wemyss, C. M. G., 
D. S. Q. As each regiment embarked there was read to it the 
farewell message of the governor general : 

**0n the eve of your departure from Canada I wish to con- 
gratulate you on having the privilege of taking part, with the 
other forces of the crown, in lighting for the honor of the king 
and the Empire. You have nobly responded to the call of duty, 
and Canada will know how to appreciate the patriotic spirit that 
animates you. I have complete confidence that you will do your 
duty, and that Canada v/ill have every reason to be proud of 
you. You leave these shores with the knowledge that all Cana- 
dian hearts beat for you, and that our prayers and best wishes 
will ever attend you. May God bless you and bring you back 




THE departure of the first contingent, which became known to 
the public through an announcement made to the press by 
General (then Colonel) Hughes on September 24, brought all 
Canada to a first profound realization of the tragic aspects of 
the war. The first big sacrifice had been made. 

Meanwhile recruiting continued at a steady pace. But it was 
now becoming more obvious that a sense of patriotic duty, rather 
than enthusiasm, was to be the impelling motive henceforward. 
The youth of the country came forward more deliberately, 

During 1915 180,000 men responded to this call of duty, or 
at the average rate of 3,400 a week. A large proportion of 
these, especially in the second half of the year, undoubtedly 
had been moved by the campaign of education which was car- 
ried on by the newspapers. "The country requires,*' said the 
Toronto **Globe," in its issue of January 23, 1915, "information 
as to the causes of the war, the issues involved, and the pressing 
need for men." 

The difference between the first volunteers and those who only 
came forward during the later periods was one which certainly 
reflected no discredit on the latter. If they came more slowly 
it was only that they were, on the whole, older men, more in- 
clined to be guided by reason than by youthful enthusiasm. 
These were the men who had given the issues of the war close 
study, and by the process of deliberate judgment came to the 
conclusion that their duty, not to Canada, or to the Empire, alone, 
required them to offer themselves, but a duty to the cause of 
world democracy and civilization itself. From these came some 
of the best soldiers who later distinguished themselves and won 
promotion on the bloody fields of battle in France. 

At the end of the year 212,000 Canadians were in uniform. 
At that time the Government called for a total contribution of 


half a million men. In the middle of February a mere handful 
short of a quarter of a million men had enlisted. Of these 30 
per cent were native-born Canadians, 62 per cent were British- 
born settlers, and 8 per cent were foreign born. 

On November 2, 1915, an official announcement indicated in 
what proportion the various provinces had contributed to the 
total number of enlistments. The figures were as follows : 

Ontario, 42,300; Quebec, 14,000; the Maritime Provinces, 
15,000; Manitoba and Saskatchewan, 28,000; British Columbia 
and the Yukon, 17,000 ; Alberta, 14,200. 

At this time recruiting was now averaging 2,000 a day. 

The call for half a million men which the premier issued at 
the first of the year, 1916, stimulated recruiting perceptibly. 
During the month of January 30,000 men responded from all 
parts of Canada; in February almost 27,000 enlisted; and in 
March nearly 33,000 presented themselves. The grand total dur- 
ing these three months was not far short of 90,000. By the 
following June 335,000 of the half million men called for had 
been obtained. 

During the summer and the fall of 1916 the stream of recruits 
began to diminish very perceptibly. During this period the daily 
average dropped down to three hundred. 

By this time the volunteer system was beginning to reach its 
limits. But the record was, nevertheless, a splendid one, espe- 
cially when it is remembered how abstract the issues of the war 
must have been to the minds of a large portion of the masses. 
At the end of 1916 434,529 men from Canada were on war duty 
of some kind, not counting over 70,000 casualties at the front. 

During 1917 the slackening of recruiting became so apparent 
that the Government had now to consider extraordinary means 
to stimulating it, if Canada was to raise her full quota of half a 
million men. Chief of these means was the creation of the Na- 
tional Service Board, by an Order in Council, on October 5, 1916. 
This body was empowered to order a registration of the remain- 
ing man power of the nation, for the purpose of bringing about 
a coordination of the various industries with a view to army 


War St. 8— Re 


The census taken by the board during the following few 
months showed a total enumeration of 1,549,360 able-bodied 
workers, 286,976 of which were engaged in nonessential occu- 
pations, and 183,727 in agriculture. Included there were 4,660 
skilled workers in the mining industry, shipbuilding, and the 
manufacture of munitions. The work of the board brought this 
information, but no increase in enlistments. 

Splendid as had been the response of Canada's youth, the fact 
had now to be faced, in the beginning of the fourth year of the 
war, that the need for men at the front exceeded the supply 
available through the volunteer system. Needs considered, there 
remained only the last resort — conscription. 

This was a decision which the Government faced with extreme 
reluctance. Already conscription had become the subject of a 
great deal of heated discussion, in legislative halls as well as in 
the daily press. Temperamentally the Canadian people could 
accept the idea only with the greatest of reluctance. It was con- 
trary to the individualistic sentiment of the nation. But it was 
the only remaining alternative to a still greater evil — a German 



rpHE question of conscription came to a final issue on May 
■*- 18, 1917, when the premier returned from England, where 
he had been in conference with his colleagues on the Im- 
perial War Board. It was then that he announced that it would 
be necessary to introduce a conscription measure in the near 

"A great struggle lies before us," he said, "and I cannot put 
that before you more forcibly than by stating that at the com- 
mencement of this spring's campaign Germany put in the field 
one million more men than she put in the field last spring. . . . 
Hitherto we have depended on voluntary enlistment. I, myself, 


stated to Parliament that nothing but voluntary enlistment was 
proposed by the Government. But I return to Canada impressed 
at once with the extreme gravity of the situation and with a 
sense of responsibility for our further effort at the most critical 
period of the war. It is apparent to me that the voluntary sys- 
tem will not yield further substantial results." 

Only a little over fifty thousand men more were needed to 
supply the need at the front, and to complete Canada's full 
quota, but they were needed most imperatively. That this need 
was strongly impressed on the public mind became apparent dur- 
ing the month which intervened between these utterances by the 
premier and the first presentation of the Conscription Bill in 
Parliament. As a matter of fact, Australia and South Africa 
were the only belligerent countries besides Canada, at this time, 
which had not been compelled to adopt the principle of forcible 

On June 11 the bill was presented to Parliament, with a speech 
by the premier explaining all its provisions. Administration 
was placed under the Department of Justice, and the term was 
for the duration of the war, including demobilization. All male 
British subjects in Canada were included, from the ages of 
twenty to forty-five. Those eligible were divided into six classes, 
according to their marital conditions and ages, and each class 
was to be called in succession. An amendment presented by the 
leader of the opposition would have submitted the bill to a refer- 
endum vote of the electorate, but this was rejected by a vote of 
111 against 62. The bill finally passed the third reading by a 
vote of 102 against 44. 

At the end of the year 404,395 eligible men had registered. 
The number of men eventually drafted under this law amounted 
to 83,000, making the total number of enlistments up to the end 
of the war 611,741. 

The army thus raised was eventually represented in infantry 
and cavalry battalions, exclusive of engineers, forestry, railway 
construction, pioneer, and cyclist corps, or the Siberian expedi- 
tionary force of 4,000 men. The following list was issued by 
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A digest of the foregoing tables will indicate the propor- 
tionate enlistments in the various sections of the country. Popu- 
lation considered, the West did better than the East. 

As to the proportional representation of the various occupa- 
tions in the enlistments, some light is thrown on that by figures 
presented by Mr. N. W. Rowell, K. C, in the Ontario Legislature, 
covering the period of heaviest voluntary enlistment, up to 
March 1, 1916. Out of a total of 263,111 recruits, 6 per cent, or 
16,153 were professional men; 2 per cent, or 6,530, were mer- 
chants or men in the employing class; 18 per cent, or 48,777, 
were clerical workers; 64 per cent, or 170,369, were manual 
workers ; 6 per cent, or 17,044, were farmers ; and 1 per cent, or 
4,238, were students. 

The latter item deserves special mention, in the unusual en- 
thusiasm shown by the students of the Canadian universities. 
At the end of 1914 McGill University had nearly a hundred of 
its student body in training on Salisbury Plain, many more were 
at Exhibition Park, preparing themselves for active service at 
the front, while others were in different camps throughout the 
country; 1,800 men were in the Officers' Training Corps, with 
80 members of the faculty acting as officers. On March 1, 1915, 
307 undergraduates had enlisted. Out of 4,000 registered stu- 
dents there were, at the end of 1915, 811 enlisted men, together 
with 1,003 graduates and 83 members of the staff. 

The University of Toronto, by the end of 1918, was repre- 
sented by 5,308 men, from its staff, graduates, undergraduates, 
and its faculty of education, of which 531 were killed. Other 
Ontario universities were represented by 900 men on active 
servite. At the close of the war it was estimated that about 
17,000 college students, or graduates, had enlisted, of which 
about 1,200 were reported as casualties. 




NO consideration of the activity of the university graduates, 
or undergraduates, in the war can be made without refer- 
ence to that famous regiment whose personnel was very largely 
made up of university men — the Princess Patricia Regiment, 
the first Canadian body of fighting men to reach the front, and 
the one that suffered most heavily. 

The Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Regiment 
was recruited in Montreal, though its members were from all 
parts of the Dominion. This body was formed on the initiative 
of A. Hamilton Gault of Montreal. The regiment was first com- 
manded by Lieutenant Colonel F. D. Farquhar, D. S. 0., of the 
Coldstream Guards, and military secretary to the governor gen- 
eral. The other original officers were Major A. Hamilton Gault; 
Adjutant, Captain H. C. Buller; Quartermaster, the Hon. Lieu- 
tenant C. A. Wake; Paymaster, the Hon. Captain D. H. Mac- 
Dougall; Medical Officer, Major C. B. Keenan. The heroic career 
of this body of men at the front will be followed in a later part 
of this volume. 

Those brigades which embarked from Quebec during the fall 
of 1914 were those which were later to become famous as the 
First Canadian Division, which was the first large body of 
Canadian troops to arrive in France. 

The First Division was constituted as follows : First Artillery 
Brigade, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel E. W. B. Morrison; 
Second Artillery Brigade, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel J. 
J. Creelman ; Third Artillery Brigade, commanded by Lieutenant 
Colonel J. H. Mitchell; First Infantry Brigade, commanded by 
Lieutenant Colonel M. S. Mercer ; Second Infantry Brigade, com- 
manded by Lieutenant Colonel A. W. Currie; Third Infantry 
Brigade, commanded by Colonel R. E. W. Turner; Royal Cana- 
dian Dragoons, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel C. M. Nelles ; 
Lord Strathcona's Horse, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel A. 


H. Macdonnell ; Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, commanded by 
Lieutenant Colonel H. A. Panet; Fourth Infantry Brigade, com- 
manded by Lieutenant Colonel J. E. Cohoe ; First to Ninth Field 
Batteries, commanded respectively by Major C. H. L. Sharman, 
Lieutenant Colonel C. H. MacLaren, Major A. G. L. Mc- 
Naughton, Major E. G. Hanson, Lieutenant Colonel H. G. Mc- 
Leod, Major W. B. M. King, Major H. G. Carscallon, and Major 
E. A. McDougall. The General Staff officers were : Colonel E. H. 
Hard, Lieutenant Colonel A. H. Macdonnell, Lieutenant Colonel 
G. C. W. Gordon-Hall, Lieutenant Colonel C. H. Mitchell, and 
Lieutenant Colonel H. J. Lamb. Besides the above units there 
w^ere also the Automobile and Machine Gun Brigade, various 
line of communication units, a clearing hospital, two stationary 
hospitals, and two general hospitals and remount department. 

The Second Canadian Division was composed of those units 
which arrived in England during March, April, and May, 1915. 
It was in command of Major General S. B. Steele, who was after- 
ward succeeded by Brigadier General R. E. W. Turner. As 
filially constituted the infantry included the Fourth Brigade, 
commanded by Brigadier General Lord Brooke; the Fifth 
Brigade, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel David Watson; and 
the Sixth Brigade, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel H. D. B. 

A fifth division was later organized in England, but was there 
held as a reserve, most of its constituent elements being sent to 
France as reenforcements to the first four divisions. 

The Canadian Cavalry Brigade was not organized until early 
in 1915, in England, but its constituent parts had come over 
from Canada with the first contingent. From the time of its 
formation until May, 1918, it was under the command of 
Brigadier General (later Major General) J. E. B. Seeley, C. B., 
C. M. G., D. S. 0., M. P., a veteran of the South African War, 
where he served under Sir John French, and later Secretary of 
State for War in the Asquith Cabinet. 

The brigade was originally formed from the Royal Canadian 
Dragoons, Lord Strathcona's Horse, King Edward's Horse, an 
Imperial unit, and the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery. In 1916 


the King Edward's Horse left the brigade and its place was taken 
by the Fort Garry Horse, previously known as the Canadian 
Reserve Cavalry Regiment. Later the brigade had added to it 
the Machine Gun Squadron, the Canadian Cavalry Field Am- 
bulance, and the Mobile Veterinary Section. During the early 
part of its services in France the brigade operated as infantry, 
and it was not till the early part of 1916 that it was finally re- 
constituted as a cavalry force. The cavalry brigade ranged in 
numbers from two to three thousand throughout the war. 



OF the special corps, outside the regular classifications into 
which all armies are subdivided — infantry, cavalry, artillery, 
etc., special emphasis and more detailed description should be 
accorded the Canadian Forestry and the Canadian Railway 
Corps. The extraordinary dimensions which these arms of the 
service acquired must be considered when the number of Cana- 
dian troops on the actual field of battle is compared with those 
who did not reach the front. No general history of the war can 
ever be written without devoting considerable space to these two 
corps as factors which assumed much importance in the defeat 
of Germany. 

In the production of lumber, and in the building of railways, 
to keep up wtih the rapid westward progress of the Canadian 
population, Canada stands forth preeminent. It was only natural 
that the special skill and knowledge acquired in these industries 
should be in strong demand by the Allied forces in general, and 
it was Canada which could supply it in the greatest measure. 
Hence the unusual number of Canadian recruits who were di- 
verted to these particular branches of military service. 

The formation of the Forestry Corps came about through the 
growing shortage of shipping. In February, 1916, the British 

War St. 8— Sc 


Government issued a proclamation restricting certain imports, 
for the sake of economy in shipping. One of the chief com- 
modities affected was timber, of which six million tons was being 
brought into the country annually. 

The Secretary of State for the Colonies called on the Governor 
General of Canada for assistance in the production of timber for 
military purposes from the home forests in England and Scot- 
land. A special force of Canadian lumbermen was asked for. 

The result was the formation of the 224th Canadian Forestry 
Battalion, which was sent over to England in the early part of 
the year. The first unit to arrive in England carried with it all 
the machinery necessary and immediately established a lumber 
camp and saw mill in Surrey. Within three months after the 
first call for this special assistance the battalion had been organ- 
ized, transported across the waters, and had sawn and delivered 
its first lot of sawn English lumber. The battalion eventually 
reached a working force of over 1,500, detachments from which 
were distributed over various parts of England and Scotland. 

So big a success was the work of the 224th Lumber Battalion 
that further and continuous demands were made on the Cana- 
dians for lumbermen to cut the trees of Britain into lumber for 
the allied armies on the western front. From this battalion 
gradually developed the Canadian Forestry Corps, which later 
came to supply cut lumber to the military forces of all the nations 
participating in the operations against the Germans in France 
and Belgium. 

Not long after the first contingent of Canadian lumbermen had 
arrived in England, another cablegram was sent by the British 
authorities to the Governor General of Canada, asking for more 
lumbermen. ''His Majesty's Government again turns to Canada 
for assistance," the cablegram concluded. 

This was the occasion for the formation of the 238th Canadian 
Forestry Battalion, which arrived in England a few months 
later, in September, 1916. But even before it had arrived the 
French Gk)vernment's grant of extensive forests to the British 
forces had brought about the necessity of putting the timber- 
cutting activities of the British Government on a much broader 


basis, and some of the Canadian lumber detachments were sent 
across to France. 

In October, 1916, authority was granted for the formation of 
the Canadian Forestry Corps, under the command of Major 
General Alexander McDougal, who was then a Lieutenant Colo- 
nel, commanding the 224th Battalion. By the British Govern- 
ment he was appointed director of the timber operations for 
France and Great Britain. The two battalions already in France 
and England thus became the nucleus of the corps. 

Meanwhile enough machinery and other equipment was being 
prepared and shipped from Canada to afford employment to 
10,000 men. For by this time it had been decided that timber 
imports would have to bear 60 per cent of the total reductions 
decided upon, as three and a half million tons of shipping could 
thereby be saved. 

The first detachment of the Forestry Corps to arrive in France 
began work in the Bois Normand. Later three other centers 
were established : one in the Jura Mountains, one near Bordeaux, 
and another in the Marne district. But the work of the corps 
spread over a wide area, reaching out to the frontiers of Switzer- 
land, Spain, and Germany. 

The corps headquarters was established at Paris-Plage, in the 
neighborhood of Boulogne, the supply department for equipment 
being at Havre. 

In so far as it was possible the methods of the Canadian lum- 
ber camps were employed in cutting lumber in the corps' camps, 
but certain differences in physical conditions caused many ob- 
stacles to present themselves. In the absence of the waterways 
facilities, so common in the Canadian forests, a great many miles 
of railways had to be built for the transportation of the logs to 
the sawmills. 

In the mountainous districts, however, conditions, especially 
during winter, more closely representing those to which the men 
were used in their native forests, and Canadian methods could 
therefore be more closely applied. 

The officers and men of the corps were recruited from all parts 
of Canada, from the Atlantic to the Pacific seaboards. Special 


effort was made to allot men to forests more nearly resembling 
those they were used to at home. As an instance, the men from 
eastern Canada, not used to the giant logs of the West, were 
assigned to the medium-sized timber in the level portions of 
France, while the Westerners were sent to the Jura and the 
Vosges Mountains, where logging engines, heavy steel cables, 
and modern railway construction were involved in the work of 
getting the logs out. 

Most of the detachments worked in stationary camps, but there 
v/ere also a great number of mobile camps which, together with 
their equipment, moved about from place to place, supplying 
timber to those points at the front where a demand happened to 
develop to an acute degree. Often detachments would be work- 
ing within range of the enemy artillery fire and at considerable 
risk to men and equipment. The degree of efficiency which some 
of these detachments acquired in their movements is illustrated 
by the following extract from an official report : 

"This, the record transfer, was in the case of a sawmill where 
the last log was sawn at nine o'clock on the day the move was to 
take place. By seven o'clock the next day the mill had been 
moved to a wood three miles away and was in full operation. 
The follov/ing day the product of this mill exceeded 18,000 board 
feet, and the day after the total output was 23,000 board feet, 
much more than the guaranteed capacity of the mill." 

The largest output by any one stationary camp, according to 
the official report, was registered by the group operating in the 
Jura Mountains. Here a total of 156,000 board feet was cut in 
ten hours in a mill which was only registered to turn out 30,000 
feet in that time. 

Across the Channel, in Great Britain, the operations of the 
Forestry Corps extended over six districts — four in England and 
two in Scotland. Forty-three detachments were spread over these 
areas, totaling 12,533 men at the end of the war, though of this 
number about 3,000 were attached labor or prisoners of war. 
In England the corps did especially noteworthy service in supply- 
ing the Royal Air Force, more specially for the defense wing. 
In a letter of appreciation written by Lord Derby, Secretary of 


State for War, it was indicated that on several occasions the 
men of the Forestry Corps had worked at the rate of ninety hours 
a week to supply timber needed in the construction of aerodromes 
for the aeroplanes used to repel hostile air raids. 

In November, 1918, at the conclusion of hostilities, the total 
strength of the Canadian Forestry Corps stood at 31,447, divided 
as follows: In France, regular officers, 425; attached officers, 
53 ; other ranks, 11,702 ; attached, 1,039 ; prisoners of war, 5,021 ; 
giving a total of 18,240. In Great Britain there were : Regular 
officers, 343; attached officers, 49; other ranks, 9,624; attached 
labor, 1,926 ; prisoners of war, 1,265 ; making a total of 13,207. 

When hostilities ceased over 70 per cent of the timber in use 
on the western front by all the Allied armies had been sup- 
plied by the Forestry Corps. Up to December, 1918, the corps 
had supplied nearly 814,000,000 board feet of sawn lumber. 

'*It is largely due," wrote Lord Derby, in the spring of 1918, 
"to the operations of the units of this corps in France that we 
have practically stopped the shipment of British-grown timber 
to France, thus saving cross-channel tonnage, while we are also 
able to save the shipment of foreign timber by having the pro- 
duction of the corps in England to meet the various national 



NEVER did railways as a means of transportation play so 
important a part in warfare as during the recent World 
War, in spite of the remarkable development of motor vehicles. 
It was her superior railway systems which gave Germany her 
principal advantage over the Russians on the eastern front, and 
as the great struggle developed, it became daily more obvious 
that the Allies would have to draw on their resources in railway 
construction to the uttermost to offset the initial advantage 
which Germany had in this respect on the western front. 


At first the French undertook to direct what railway construc- 
tion it was thought would be necessary, but it was not long 
before the French Government was forced to call on the British 
for help. Finally the British found themselves unable to keep 
pace with the demand, and what was more natural than that 
Canada, the land of marvelous railway construction, should in 
her turn be appealed to? 

It was in the spring of 1915 that the British Government 
asked for two railway construction companies. The Canadian 
Government turned the request over to the Canadian Pacific 
Railway Company, with the result that from the employees of 
that corporation were recruited the first ^we hundred members 
of the Canadian Overseas Railway Construction Corps, which 
landed in France in the following August. 

In May, 1916, the situation in France had become so pressing 
that the British War Office was compelled to ask for another 
unit, of about one thousand men, for railway construction behind 
the lines in France. 

The task of organizing this body of men was assigned by the 
Canadian Government to Lieutenant Colonel J. W. Stewart, who 
combed the railway workers of the whole country for technical 
experts and efficient workers. These men were then formed into 
the 239th Overseas Railway Construction Corps. 

Meanwhile Sir Eric Geddes had been assigned the task, as 
director general ef transportation, to reorganize the transporta- 
tion service behind the lines on the western front. He immedi- 
ately called General Stewart over to England for a special 
conference, the outcome of which was a further demand on 
Canada for railway men. 

It was agreed tnat Canada should furnish ^ve battalions of 
railway construction men, which were to be known as the Cana- 
dian Railway Troops. General Stewart was then instructed to 
proceed to France to act as deputy director of light railways, as 
well as chief in command of the Canadian Railway Troops. 

In January, 1917, General Stewart became Deputy Director 
General of Transportation, which gave him jurisdiction over the 
Royal Engineers' Railway Construction companies as well as 


over his own Canadians. By this time it had been decided to 
increase the number of battalions to ten. 

The 127th Infantry Battalion was reorganized as the 2d Bat- 
talion of Canadian Railway Troops, and proceeded to France in 
Januaiy, 1917. The 239th was renamed the 3d Battalion of 
Canadian Railway Troops, and followed the 2d two months later. 
The 4th and 5th Battalions were organized at Purfleet, and pro- 
ceeded to France at about the same time. By the following April 
still another battalion had arrived in France, and by June all ten 
were behind the lines. Henceforward they carried on practically 
all the light railway construction along the whole western front, 
especially such lines as had to be laid in quick time, over ground 
evacuated by the enemy in their retreat. 

Upon their first arrival the Canadian Railway Troops rendered 
notable service, just before the attack on and capture of Vimy 
Ridge. For some weeks before the weather had been unusually 
rainy, and the ground was so deep with mud as to be almost im- 
passable for any kind of vehicle. In spite of these conditions the 
Canadian railway men laid their roads to within rifle range of 
the front lines, ready to serve as supply lines when the advance 
should begin. 

The attack begun, and the advance progressing, the railway 
detachment followed the front line closely, laying their tracks 
almost as fast as the infantry could push ahead. In this way 
supplies of provisions and ammunition were carried forward, 
while the wounded were carried back to the clearing hospitals. 

Within a week before the Arras offensive tracks had been laid 
to the top of Vimy Ridge, and by the end of April, 1917, when 
the British lines were pushed across the level plain beyond the 
Ridge, the light railways had followed them so closely that food 
supplies were dumped almost by the field kitchens. Such similar 
service was rendered by the Canadian Railway Construction 
Troops at Messines as well. 

It was at Ypres, however, that they especially distinguished 
themselves. During two months of the summer of 1917, says the 
official report, the average daily number of breaks in the light 
railway lines behind the front, due to German artillery fire, was 



about a hundred exclusively within the area occupied by the 
Second and Fifth British Armies alone. Here the Canadians 
pursued their construction work exposed to the full fire of the 
enemy guns, without even the moral satisfaction of being able 
to return the fire. 

On one occasion, however, they were to have this satisfaction 
in full. It was during the last four days of March, 1918, while 
the Germans were advancing on Amiens, that a break suddenly 
developed in the British lines. No reserves were available at the 
time. On the spur of the moment the railway men organized six- 
teen Lewis-gun teams and held the ground in the break until 
finally they were relieved by regular troops. 

Early in 1918 the Canadian Overseas Railway Construction 
Corps, the 58th Broad Gauge Operating Company, the 13th Light 
Railway Operating Company, the 69th Wagon Erecting Com- 
pany, and the 85th Engine Crew Company were brought under 
headquarters, and the whole were formed into the Corps of 
Canadian Railway Troops. 

In the summer of 1918, General Allenby, in command of the 
expeditionary force in Palestine, called for a company of expert 
bridge builders. The War Office immediately called for volun- 
teers from among the Canadian Railway Troops, and 6 officers 
and 250 men were sent to Palestine. The following table, taken 
from the report of the Ministry of the Overseas Military Forces 
of Canada, shows the relative strength of the Canadian and the 
Imperial Railway Construction Corps at different periods of 
the war: 

Nominal Strength 

Imperial Railway 



Nominal Strength 

Canadian Railway 



December 31, 1914 
December 31, 1915. 
December 31, 1916 
January 30, 1917. . 
December 31, 1917 
November 11, 1918 








Besides the foregoing, there were four Canadian Railway 
Troops Operating Companies, with a total strength of 1,087 
when the armistice was signed. The total number of Canadian 
railway troops in England when hostilities ceased was 3,364. 

During the period of their work at the front members of the 
railway troops were awarded 489 honors and decorations. 



npHAT Canada should have had no flying branch of her mili- 
■*- tary establishment at the outbreak of the war is hardly a 
matter of surprise when her lack of military preparedness in 
other branches is also considered. 

Nevertheless, though it was not considered advisable to or- 
ganize specially a Canadian flying force until only a short time 
before the close of the war, over 8,000 Canadians became pro- 
ficient flyers and aerial fighters, that number having enlisted and 
held commissions in the Royal Flying Corps. This number, it 
will be noted, is quite above the logical proportion that could 
ordinarily have been expected from Canada, population con- 

Those Canadians who entered the Royal Flying Corps were 
exceptionally well adapted to this branch of the service. Ap- 
parently conditions of life and open-air training in the Domin- 
ion tend to endow m.en with those faculties which are essential 
to the successful flyer. 

During the latter part of the war the question of forming a 
separate Canadian flying corps began to receive consideration, 
and finally, in the early part of 1918, steps were taken to bring 
this idea to a point of materialization. The matter now formed 
the subject of discussion between the Canadian Ministry and the 
Secretary of State for the Royal Air Force. A memorandum set- 
ting forth tentative arrangements was then drawn up. On July 


8, 1918, it was definitely settled that the Canadian Flying Corps 
should be organized. 

The memorandum provided specifically for two air squadrons. 
These were to be organized in England by the overseas military 
forces of Canada, in conjunction with the Royal Air Force. For 
the carrying out of this provision a Canadian Air Force Section 
of the Canadian General Staff was created. The types of 
squadrons decided upon were a single-seater scout squadron and 
a day bombing squadron. These were actually organized and 
went into quarters at Upper Heyford, near Oxford. Training 
was in progress when the armistice was signed, so that the 
Canadian flying force never went into action. 

Training continued, however, but was adapted to future post- 
war flying, special attention being paid to wireless operations, 
photographic training, aerial geographical training, and cross- 
country flying. 

To provide for a flying force on a peace basis, for the future 
Canadian military service, the following establishment was then 
authorized : 

A director of air service, assisted by a staff captain and a staff 
lieutenant, along with four other ranks; a wing headquarters, 
consisting of a lieutenant colonel, who will have command of the 
two squadrons, assisted by a captain for administration, a cap- 
tain for technical duties, and a lieutenant for armament, along 
with five other ranks; No. 1 Squadron (scout), consisting of 18 
aeroplanes, commanded by a major with three captains, flight 
commanders, and 18 flying officers of the rank of lieutenant, the 
total personnel being 159; No. 2 Squadron (day bombing), also 
consisting of 18 aeroplanes, manned like Squadron No. 1 ; and a 
technical and supply branch, consisting of a headquarters, 
technical branch, and a supply depot. 

At the end of 1918 the equipment of the Canadian Air Corps 
consisted of 3 aeroplanes, presented by the Imperial Air Fleet 
Committee; 16 presented by the Overseas Club and Patriotic 
League ; and 40 German aeroplanes allotted by the Air Ministry. 
In addition to the above 50 Curtiss machines were presented to 
the Canadian Government by the Imperial Munitions Board, 


making a total of 109 machines available for service on the return 
to Canada of the Canadian Air Force. 

Like the aeroplane, the tank became a military weapon only 
during the Great War, and tank battalions were entirely un- 
known as a branch of any army service before hostilities began. 
At about the same time that the matter of forming a Canadian 
air force came up for consideration, the organization of a sepa- 
rate Canadian tank battalion was also discussed. It was in 
March, 1918, that the British War Office requested the Canadian 
Government to supply the men for one tank battalion. By the 
middle of summer the battalion had been formed and had arrived 
in England, comprising 92 officers and 716 men. 

What made this battalion especially noteworthy was the fact 
that the entire body had been recruited from among the students 
of Canadian universities. One company came from McGill Uni- 
versity, another from Toronto University, while the third came 
from the others. 

While the battalion was in training, two months later, the 
British Government again requested the Canadian Governor 
General to provide a tank battalion. This request was immedi- 
ately complied with, and in the middle of October, 1918, the 2d 
Canadian Tank Battalion arrived in England from Canada, con- 
sisting of 44 officers and 960 other ranks. 

Meanwhile the 1st Battalion had completed the training course 
and was preparing to embark for France when the armistice 
was signed. At that time, however, Canada had been requested 
to recruit a third tank battalion. 

At the time that hostilities ceased, says the official report of 
the Overseas Ministry, the Medical Corps of the Canadian over- 
seas forces exceeded in numbers the entire British Royal Army 
Medical Corps during the South African War. In November, 
1918, the bed capacity of the hospitals overseas amounted to 
40,000, as compared to 3,000 in June, 1915. 

In the matter of a military medical service Canada had been 
prepared to a certain degree. Back in 1904 the first nucleus of 
the Army Medical Corps had been formed, and in 1911 the 
equipment of a military medical branch had been authorized, in- 


eluding a complete scheme for quick mobilization in case of 
hostilities. Thus there was a basis for the hig-h degree of effi- 
ciency which characterized the Canadian Medical Corps, and 
won for it the highest recommendations as early as the Second 
Battle of Ypres. This efficiency was largely due to the director 
of the corps, Major General G. L. Foster, C. B. 

This, however, was merely a nucleus, and the later tre- 
mendous development of the corps was entirely due to the spirit 
of self-sacrifice and patriotism of the great number of Canadian 
doctors and surgeons who flocked to the colors during the early 
months of the war and freely offered their professional services. 

The work of the corps was divided into two distinct sections, 
each with a character peculiar to itself yet harmonizing and co- 
operating closely. There v/as, first of all, the professional side, 
comprising scientific medical work and investigation, and the 
military side, which provides for the physical organization on 
which the professional work must be based. 

One of the first tasks undertaken was the creation of a con- 
sultant staff, with officers of rich experience to superintend at 
hospitals, sanitary formations, laboratories, etc. It was or- 
ganized on an effective and systematic basis, and its big success 
was largely due to the invaluable services which were rendered 
by some of Canada's most brilliant medical men, in cooperation 
with those of England and France. The Canadian consultants 
and specialists attended the various important Allied medical 
conferences and made tours of observation and instruction in 
the hospitals of the various countries, and it was by these and 
other means that the Canadian soldiers in hospitals benefited by 
the latest medical and surgical discoveries in every land which 
was at war with the country responsible for the horrors which 
had to be faced. This knowledge was passed on and diffused 
among the staffs of all the Canadian hospitals. In the remarkable 
development of reconstructive surgery which took place during 
the war the Canadian surgeons had their full share. 

In the defensive warfare with epidemic diseases the Canadian 
Medical Corps attained a degree of efficiency that contrasted well 
with the medical corps of any of the Allied armies. The results 


in regard to enteric were perhaps the most remarkable of all. 
Of 100,000 Canadian patients only one man was found to 
have typhoid, and he, for some reason or other, had not been 

The military organization of the corps was in all respect equal 
to the professional qualities of its members. In one division 
there were about twenty regimental medical officers and three 
field ambulances, with nine medical officers each — about 750 men 
to the three ambulances. For transport each ambulance had 
fifty horses, and seven motor and three horse ambulances, with 
general service wagons and carts in addition. 

The following represented a few of the specific achievements 
of the corps: 

A school of massage and Sv/edish remedial drill was organized 
for training nurse sisters and soldiers for this service in 

A laboratory service was organized on an economical and 
efficient basis. Four grades of laboratories were adopted, with 
standard equipment and an established personnel for each; and 
each of the two laboratory units and twenty-two hospital labora- 
tories were organized. The X-Ray laboratory service was simi- 
larly organized and systematized. 

A central medical stores was established, through which all 
medical supplies and technical equipment were received and 

The sanitary service was also completely reorganized and 
measures for the prevention and control of infectious diseases 
placed on an effective basis. 

Among the units organized were: Ten general hospitals; 8 
special hospitals; 6 convalescent hospitals; 3 ship hospitals (one 
of which, the Llandovery Castle, was sunk by a German sub- 
marine) ; 2 laboratory units ; 4 sanitary sections ; 1 medical 
stores ; 1 regimental depot and training school ; 7 administrative 
units for training areas. 

The following table, taken from the official report of the 
Ministry, shows the strength of the Canadian Army Medical 
Corps on June 1 of successive years and on November 30, 1918 : 






June 1 

Nov. 30 

















Nursing Sisters 

Other Ranks 

Total Personnel 






In connection with the medical service, and yet comprising a 
separate and certainly a new feature of military organization, 
was the Canadian Army Dental Corps, which was developed to 
extraordinary dimensions. Undoubtedly thousands of young 
Canadians had never had their teeth troubles properly attended 
to until they entered the army. 

The Dental Corps was organized within a few months after the 
first contingent had gone overseas, early in 1915, in fact. The 
organization was under the direction of the Director of Dental 
Services, Colonel J. A. Armstrong, C. M. G. In France the corps 
members carried on their work principally at field ambulances, 
casualty clearing stations, general and stationary hospitals, and 
at base camps. 

On arriving in England every Canadian soldier was obliged to 
submit to mouth inspection, and, if time permitted, his require- 
ments were attended to there. If the time did not permit, his 
teeth record followed him over to France, and there, as soon as 
he found a permanent station, the work was continued and com- 
pleted. In addition to the general clinics, which handled the bulk 
of the work, there were special clinics, where dental surgery was 
practiced and wounds affecting the region around the mouth and 
jaws were attended to. Here was performed some of the remark- 
able facial surgery whose development was a special feature of 
the war. 

To combat an epidemic of infectious stomatitis, commonly 
known as "trench mouth," which at one time affected 10,000 men, 
the Dental Corps established the Department of Oral Pathology, 
and as a result of microscopic diagnosis and persistent treatment 
the disease was finally brought under control. 


Summed up, the total number of dental operations from July 
15, 1915, till December 31, 1918, amounted to 2,225,442, includ- 
ing 96,713 operations performed on soldiers of Imperial units 
who chanced to come within the jurisdiction of the Canadian 
Dental Corps. 

On first coming overseas the strength of the Dental Corps was 
30 officers, 34 noncommissioned officers, and 40 privates. When 
the armistice was signed this number had increased to 223 offi- 
cers, 221 noncommissioned officers, and 238 privates. 

No consideration of Canada's war establishment, as developed 
during the great world struggle, can be complete without a few 
words devoted to Canada's naval service. 

At the outbreak of the war Canada's naval strength was rep- 
resented by two vessels, the Niobe, a cruiser of 11,000 tons dis- 
placement, with a main armament of sixteen 6-inch guns, sta- 
tioned at Halifax, and the Rainbow, a small cruiser of 3,600 
tons, armed with two 6-inch, six 4.7-inch, and four 12-pounder 
guns, stationed at Esquimalt. 

The latter vessel performed patrol service along the Pacific 
Coast during the war, cruising as far south as Panama, and 
captured several ships carrying contraband of war. 

The Niobe performed similar duty on the Atlantic Coast for 
over a year, and afterward became a depot ship at Halifax. 

When the war began the Canadian Government immediately 
took over a number of small craft from the Departments of 
Marine and Customs, which were fitted out for patrol duty. To 
this fleet were added two submarines, which had been purchased 
just before war was declared. Later more vessels were taken 
over from private owners and utilized for coast patrol. 

The officers and men of the Royal Canadian Navy numbered 
749, and the officers and men of the Royal Canadian Naval Vol- 
unteer Reserve amounted to 4,374. In addition to these over 
1,700 Canadians went into the Imperial navy and saw service in 
the war area. 




ALTHOUGH the Canadian forces operating in the field were 
* under the British High Command, Canada retained control 
of the vast army she had sent overseas in so far as military 
operations were not concerned. For this purpose an extensive 
and a somewhat complicated administrative machinery was 

Up until the close of 1916 Sir George H. Perley acted as High 
Commissioner for Canada in England. At the end of that 
period, however, Sir George became the Minister of the Overseas 
Military Forces of Canada with enlarged powers, and a Military 
Council composed of Brigadier General P. E.Thacker, as Adjutant 
General; Brigadier General A. D. McRae, as Acting Quarter- 
master and Chief Executive Officer, and Major General R. E. W. 
Turner, as Commander of the Canadian troops in England. 

During the summer of 1917 still further changes were made, 
through which the administration of the Canadian military estab- 
lishment in England was divided into four branches, under the 
supervision of the Military Secretary, Major F. F. Montague, 
the General Staff, in charge of Lieutenant Colonel H. F. Mc- 
Donald, the Adjutant General, Brigadier General P. E. Thacker, 
and the Quartermaster General, Brigadier General A. D. McRae. 

In May, 1918, the Canadian Headquarters Staff in England 
was created, with Lieutenant General Sir R. E. W. Turner as 
Chief of Staff. 

Over in France, in the war zone, by agreement with the British 
War Office, a Canadian section of General Headquarters of the 
British armies in France was formed in July, 1918. This section 
was in no way supposed to interfere in purely fighting oper- 
ations, but through it the Canadian Government obtained 
control over matters of organization and administration within 
its own forces. 


Lieutenant General Sir Ernest William Turner, V. C. He commanded a Canadian Division 
in France in 1915 and was Commander of Canadian Troops in England from 1910 on 








rp HE fleet with the Canadian Expeditionary Force, after a long 
-*- but uneventful voyage, arrived in Plymouth Sound in the 
evening of October 14, 1914. The British censorship had main- 
tained such secrecy regarding their movements that the people 
of Plymouth and Devonport first learned that they had crossed 
the seas w^hen the transports were in harbor. When the news 
spread through the neighborhood the townsfolk flocked to the 
waterside and with cheers and song welcomed the soldiers of the 
Dominion. This demonstration was repeated on a greater and 
more enthusiastic scale when the troops later disembarked and 
marched through the streets. 

Lieutenant General E. A. H. Alderson, C. B., was appointed to 
the command of the contingent, which soon after landing en- 
camped on Salisbury Plain. Here the Canadians spent four 
miserable months of one of the rainiest seasons on record. They 
were most of the time under canvas, the roads became quagmires, 
they were miles from any considerable town, yet despite their 
discomforts they maintained a brave and cheerful spirit. 

King George, accompanied by Field Marshals Roberts and 
Kitchener, Sir George Perley, member of the Canadian Cabinet, 
and Sir Richard McBride, Prime Minister of British Columbia, 
visited the troops in November, 1914. 


War St. 8— Tc 


The Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, composed 
largely of soldiers who had seen war service, left for the front 
early in December, 1914, and joined the Twenty-seventh British 

On February 4, 1915, a division composed of three infantry 
brigades, three artillery brigades, ammunition column, divisional 
engineers, divisional mounted troops, and divisional train left 
Salisbury Plain and sailed from Avonmouth, the last transport 
reaching St.-Nazaire, on the Bay of Biscay, in the second week 
of February, 1915. 

The 6th, 9th, 11th, 12th, and 17th Battalions remained in Eng- 
land as the base brigade of the division. Later these battalions 
were formed into the Canadian Training Depot, and afterward, 
with the coming of reenforcements, into the Canadian Training 
Division, under the command of Brigadier General J. C. Mac- 

The Canadians had a long journey of 850 miles after landing 
in France before they arrived at the front within the triangle of 
country between St.-Omer on the west, Ypres on the east, and 
Bethune to the south. At this time the entire British army in 
Europe was contained in this territory. 

When the Canadians arrived in England the British held a 
front between twenty and thirty miles long running from Ypres 
on the north, where the Seventh Division made its historic stand 
against the Prussian Guards, to Givenchy on the south near the 
scene of the battle that was afterward fought at Neuve Chapelle. 
This front the British had continued to maintain through the 
long winter when it may be truly said that they lived, ate, slept 
in mud. Mud they were never free from until the welcome spring 
brought a cessation of the almost continuous rain and the winds 
dried up the mire. 

When the Canadians took their turn as a division in the 
trenches there were no sensational happenings. They were not 
called upon to attack, nor was their bravery tested in holding a 
trench against a determined assault by the enemy. But the weeks 
spent in trench work were not wasted, and they learned much 
that was to serve them well in after days when they were in the 


thick of the hardest fighting of the war. There were casualties 
from snipers and sufficient excitement to keep them keyed up to 
the proper fighting spirit. 

Here we mus't leave for a time the Canadian Division and fol- 
low the fortunes of Princess Patricia's Light Infantry Regiment, 
which was the first to carry the badge of Canada on the battle 
fields of Flanders. 

As previously noted, the "Princess Pats" arrived in France 
December, 1914. The regiment was hurried north to strengthen 
the Eightieth Brigade of the Twenty-seventh British Division 
holding a thin line which the Germans continually assailed. For 
several months the regiment was engaged in hard winter trench 
work. Later a section of trench in front of the village of St.- 
Eloi was occupied by them. This was a dangerous position where 
it was impossible to raise the hand without attracting the bullet 
of a sniper. The Germans seemed to know the position of every 
dugout in the Princess Patricia's lines. It was said that they 
had rifles so fixed as to cover them exactly, and it was only neces- 
sary to pull the trigger without aiming. The regiment lost some 
valuable officers at this time. 

It was while they held the trenches before St.-Eloi that the 
Patricias were engaged in an important action. On February 
28, 1915, the Germans had completed a sap which became a 
source of danger and loss. The battalion commander decided to 
sweep away this menace. Major Hamilton Gault and Lieutenant 
Colquhoun went out after dark and made a careful reconnois- 
sance of the German position, returning to the line with much 
valuable information. But more was needed, and Lieutenant 
Colquhoun went out again and alone and fell into the hands of 
the enemy. 

It was decided to attack on the strength of information that 
had been obtained and an assault was organized by Lieutenant 
Crabbe, the bomb throwers being commanded by Lieutenant 
Papineau, the last a lineal descendant of the rebel of 1837. 
Corporal Ross was in command of the snipers. A body of troops 
were organized in support with picks and shovels to destroy the 
parapet of the enemy trench, which at the nearest point was 


only about fifteen yards away. Corporal Ross, who was in the 
lead when the party ran forward and flung themselves into the 
sap, was killed. Lieutenant Papineau with his- bombers ran along 
the outside of the parapet bombing the occupants of the trench, 
while Lieutenant Crabbe followed up with his detachment 
through the trench, to *'clean up'' until a barricade which the 
Germans had built barred farther progress. 

While troops held the rear of the sap to beat off counterattacks, 
Sergeant Major Lloyd led a platoon which demolished the Ger- 
man's parapet. In the course of this operation the gallant 
Lloyd was killed. Just as the day was breaking, the party com- 
pleted the job and were ordered back to their trenches. There 
were casualties, among the wounded being Major Gault, but the 
work had been carried out so successfully that none regretted 
the cost. 

On March 1, 1915, the Germans made a fierce attack with 
bombs and shells to recover the site of the sap, which had been 
demolished by the battalion, and the struggle continued until the 
6th. On this date, after the men had withdrawn from the 
trenches, which were only twenty or thirty yards from the Ger- 
mans, British artillery wiped out the sap and the trench which 
the enemy had used in making it, the enemy being blown high 
in the air by the explosive shells. 

Here, for a time, we leave the Princess Patricias and return to 
the Canadian Division on the eve of the Battle of Neuve Chapelle. 
The Canadian infantry was not especially engaged in this con- 
test, but Canadian artillery played an important part in the bom- 
bardment that preceded the British attack. The Canadians were 
ready waiting during the struggle for an order to join the fight, 
but they were not called upon. The main purpose of the British 
offensive was to break the German lines and occupy Aubers 
Ridge, which dominates Lille. Had they succeeded, the enemy 
would probably have been forced out of this part of France. 

The Battle of Neuve Chapelle was the first great effort made 
by the British to pierce the German lines since the fighting around 
the Marne and the Aisne. All the British gained in this costly 
operation was about a mile of territory on a three-mile front. 


After Neuve Chapelle quiet reigned in the trenches of the 
Canadian Division. In the last days of March the troops were 
withdrawn and went into rest camps. 

The Princess Patricias were in billets when the Germans made 
a powerful attack on the intrenchments around St.-Eloi on 
March 13, 1915. It became necessary to organize a counterattack 
to relieve the pressure, and hurried orders were sent to the 
battalion at Westoutre to proceed at once to St.-Eloi. The 
Princess Patricias marched off at 7 p. m. and joining a battalion 
of the King's Royal Rifle Corps proceeded by way of Dickebush 
to Voormanzeele. While the troops were drawn up along the 
road, news came in that Germans in large numbers were moving 
toward the eastern end of the village. The battalion commander 
detailed Number 4 Company to occupy a position on the east as 
a precaution against surprise. The St.-Eloi mound and trenches 
to the west of it had been captured by the Germans, and the 
battalion was ordered to cooperate with the rifle brigade in an 
endeavor to recover the lost positions. 

At St.-Eloi it was learned that trench A, as it was known to 
the Intelligence Staff, had been retaken by the British. The bat- 
talion occupied a breastwork to the west of a farm building, 
which was to be their first objective. It was just before day- 
break when the battalion arrived, and an attack was at once 
organized by Number 2 Company against trench P, the approach 
being made in three parties from the back of trench A. 

The Germans had possession of the mound from which their 
guns could sweep the approaches. To have attempted to cross 
that fire-swept field would have been a useless sacrifice of men. 
Three platoons therefore were detailed to hold the right of the 
breastwork near the mound while the remainder of the battalion 
was withdrawn to Voormanzeele. 

The troops left at the breastwork held fast during the long 
and trying night, which was all that could have been expected of 
them. At daybreak they withdrew and joined the battalion then 
at Dickebush. 

On March 20, 1915, Colonel Francis Farquhar, commanding 
officer of the battalion, was killed by a stray bullet. This fine 


officer had been military secretary to the Duke of Connaught and 
had done more for the battalion than it is possible to record here. 
Though a strict discipinarian, Colonel Farquhar was greatly 
loved by the soldiers for his patience and good humor and his 
readiness to hear their complaints and improve their condition 
whenever possible. Lieutenant Colonel H. C. Buller succeeded 
to the command of the regiment. 

After the death of Colonel Farquhar the battalion retired to 
rest, occupying a line on the Polygon Wood in the Ypres salient. 
Near by they constructed log cabins of such skillful workmanship 
as to excite the admiration of the French, British, and Belgian 
officers who visited the camp. The regiment was also busy im- 
proving and strengthening the trenches and in erecting breast- 
works before them under cover of the wood. When enemy guns 
were bombarding Ypres again the battalion, then in billets in the 
neighborhood of that stricken town, were ordered once more to 
the trenches. 

The Second Battle of Ypres began on April 21, 1915, and dur- 
ing the first days of the struggle the Patricias occupied trenches 
some distance south and west of those held by the Canadian 
Division. Though doomed to inaction they were constantly 
shelled by the enemy. They were eager to join in the battle rag- 
ing in the north and where their kinsmen were desperately en- 
gaged, but the order to move to the firing line never came. On 
May 3, 1915, the battalion was withdrawn to a subsidiary line a 
considerable distance to the rear. 

In the meantime the Canadian Division won enduring fame at 
Ypres. Their achievements were all the more remarkable be- 
cause the division was in the main made up of raw material, and 
until the outbreak of war untrained and undisciplined in warfare. 
The officers, too, had mostly learned military science from study 
rather than from experience; yet these former lawyers, pro- 
fessors, and business men, with rare exceptions, displayed valor 
and resource at the most trying moments in the battle. 

It was on April 22, 1915, that the Germans brought into action 
a new form of ''frightfulness," which was so far successful that 
a gap was created in the Allies' line, which might have led to 


disastrous results but for the dauntless courage displayed by the 

It was a calm, sunny, and peaceful day when the enemy sprang 
their surprise. The Canadian Division held a line of about five 
thousand yards extending in a northwesterly direction from the 
Ypres-Roulers railway to the Ypres-Poelcappelle road where at 
the terminus it joined the French. The division comprised three 
infantry brigades, the first in reserve, the second on the right, 
and the third in contact v^ith the French, as previously noted. 
In addition to the infantry there were the artillery brigades. 

About 5 o'clock in the afternoon of the 22d, the Germans pro- 
jected asphyxiating gas of great intensity over the French line 
on the left. Aided by the favorable wind, the gas penetrated the 
trenches, poisoning and disabling great numbers of troops who 
were wholly unprepared to combat this new horror of warfare. 
The French troops, principally Turcos and Zouaves, became panic- 
stricken and fled back over the canal and through the village of 
Vlamertinghe just at twilight. The Canadian reserve battalions 
of the First Brigade were amazed as the French soldiers surged 
into the town, their faces contorted with pain, and gasping for 
breath. It was some time before order could be restored and the 
staff officers could learn from the fugitives that they had left 
thousands of their comrades dead, or dying, that a four-mile gap 
had been created in the French line through which the Germans 
were advancing in the wake of their gas attack. 

The withdrawal of the French created a serious situation as 
the Canadian Third Brigade was now without any left. It was 
imperative under the circumstailces that the Canadian lines 
should be at once greatly extended to the left rear. The first 
reserve could not be moved from reserve at short notice, and the 
line increased from 5,000 to 9,000 yards was not the same line 
which the Allies had held at the time of the gas attack. A gap 
still remained on the left. 

Brigadier General Turner (now Major General), the com- 
mander of the Third Brigade, was forced to throw back his left 
flank southward to protect his rear. While these adjustments of 
the positions were under way, resulting at first in some con- 


fusion, the Germans, who had been pushing rapidly forward, 
captured four British 4.7 guns which had been lent to the French. 

The Canadian Division stood fast against overwhelming odds. 
They were outnumbered four to one, while the enemy was also 
greatly superior in artillery. The gap in the line remained, 
though somewhat reduced in extent. The Canadians, aroused to 
the dangers of the situation, fought with dogged determination 
for two days and nights, losing heavily, especially in officers. 
The Germans made the most of the advantage gained by the 
breach in the Allies* line and launched a series of attacks against 
the new Canadian salient. At every point the troops of the 
Dominion were faced by superior numbers and the fighting was 
especially fierce and sanguinary on the apex of the new line 
which ran toward St.-Julien. 

The Third Brigade under General Turner was ordered to 
coimterattack the wood where the Germans had captured four 
British guns on April 22, 1915. The 2d Battalion under Lieu- 
tenant Colonel (now Brigadier General) Watson and the 3d 
(Toronto) Battalion under Lieutenant Colonel Rennie (now also 
a Brigadier General), both of the First Brigade, reenforced 
Turner's brigade. At this time the 7th Battalion (British 
Columbia Regiment) held intrenchments in support of the Third 

The 10th Battalion and the 16th (Canadian Scottish) Battalion 
delivered an attack on the wood some time after midnight on 
April 23, 1915. The battalions, under the commands respectively 
of Lieutenant Colonel Boyle and Lieutenant Colonel (now Briga- 
dier General) R. G. E. Leckie,made a dashing advance on the 
wood in the face of a heavy machine-gun and rifie fire, which was 
soon follov/ed by a close and desperate struggle in the pale moon- 
light, the Canadians finally carrying the position at the point of 
the bayonet. 

Those who participated in the advance on the wood described 
the havoc wrought in the Canadian ranks by the enemy's ma- 
chine-gun fire, and, though many fell, others took their places 
and the line never for a moment wavered. The German garrison 
in the wood v/ere evidently demoralized by the fierceness of the 


Canadians' assault, having counted on the effective fire of their 
machine guns to shatter its force. The victors penetrated to the 
far side of the woods, where they dug themseh^es in, but v/ere 
unable to hold the position when later in the night the Germans 
concentrated a sweeping gunfire on the wood, which made the 
place untenable. The four British guns were not recovered, as 
the enemy had destroyed them some time during the progress of 

Shortly after the attack on the wood Lieutenant Colonel Boyle 
ordered the 10th Battalion to capture a German trench on the 
battalion's right front. At the beginning of the assault, when the 
German gunfire began. Colonel Boyle fell wounded, his left thigh 
pierced in fiwe places. His second in command. Major MacLaren, 
was wounded about the same time. Colonel Boyle was removed 
to Poperinghe, but died soon afterward. Major MacLaren while 
being moved to a hospital was killed by a shell. 

Major D. M, Ormond, who succeeded to the command of the 
10th Battalion, was wounded soon after assuming the position. 
Major Guthrie, a lawyer from Fredericton, New Brunswick, a 
tried and courageous soldier, then took command. 

The Canadians continued to fight and hold their difficult posi- 
tion during the night of April 22-23, 1915, the Germans in in- 
creasing numbers delivering one assault after another. The odds 
were so greatly in favor of the enemy that it seemed inevitable 
that the Canadians must give way unless they were reenforced. 
When the situation became entirely discouraging, British troops 
began to arrive under the command of Colonel Geddes of the 
Buffs. The reenforcements consisted of three and a half bat- 
talions of the Twenty-eighth Division, a composite force drawn 
from different regiments that became known as Geddes's De- 

The Second Canadian Brigade at this time was holding its own, 
but the Third Canadian Brigade had been pushed back on St.- 
Julien, v/here the Germans were making a strong effort to out- 
flank it. Had they succeeded, the result might have been dis- 
astrous to the whole Canadian line and involved others. To 
ease the German pressure a counterattack was launched against 


the first German line at 6.30 a. m. by the 1st (Ontario) Battalion 
and the 4th Battalion of the First Brigade under Brigadier Gen- 
eral Mercer acting with Geddes's Detachment* 

The 4th Battalion made the advance, having the 1st in support, 
under the covering fire of the First Canadian Artillery Brigade. 
The troops were conscious that they were engaged in a desperate 
venture, but their comrades were in peril, and there was no hesi- 
tation as they dashed into the storm of fire that swept the field 
from the enemy's guns. The attack was pressed, though the 
casualties reached an alarming figure. Colonel Birchall, com- 
manding the 4th Battalion, who, waving a light cane, encouraged 
and rallied his men, was killed. The loss of their beloved com- 
mander fired the troops with renewed energy, and with hoarse 
cries they dashed forward against the enemy to avenge his death. 
So fierce was the onslaught that the Germans were overwhelmed 
and the first line of trenches was won after a hand-to-hand 

The importance of this victory — won in the face of almost cer- 
tain death — saved the Canadian left, and not only that, but it 
maintained at a critical moment the integrity of the Allied line. 
For the 4th Canadian Battalion did more than capture the Ger- 
man trench: they held it against the most determined German 
assaults until April 25, 1915, when the decimated and weary 
remnants of the battalion were finally relieved. 

The success of the attack was not a little due to the admirable 
work of the First Artillery Brigade under Lieutenant Colonel 
Morrison, whose battery of four 18-pounders was later supple- 
mented by two heavier guns, and served with great efficiency 
throughout the struggle. Colonel Morrison for his services was 
given command of the artillery of the Second Division with the 
rank of brigadier general. Another officer who contributed to 
the victory was Captain T. E. Powers of the Signal Company of 
General Mercer's command. Though the enemy's heavy shell fire 
repeatedly cut the signal wires, communication with the front 
line of the attack was never lost. 

General Turner's Third Brigade, which, as previously noted, 
Vvas holding the Canadian left on April 22, 1915, and after 


attacking had taken over the defense of the new Canadian salient, 
had also sent a detachment to establish a hne between the wood 
and St.-Julien. Here they were subjected to a heavy gas attack 
followed by two enemy assaults. They were unprovided with 
the means for protecting themselves against the gas, but a wet 
handkerchief stuffed in the mouth was found to afford relief, 
and they held their ground beating off the heavy attacks in 
which the enemy lost heavily. The assault on the wood, as 
previously narrated, followed. 

About 4 a. m. on the following day the Germans made a gas 
attack on the Second Brigade holding the line which ran north- 
east, and the Third Brigade which continued the line up to the 
pivotal point and then extended down in a southeasterly direc- 
tion. The Royal Highlanders of Montreal, 13th Battalion, and 
the 48th Highlanders, 15th Battalion, were especially affected by 
the gas. The trenches of the 48th Highlanders became jso un- 
tenable for a time that they were forced to retire until condi- 
tions improved. 

During the night of April 23, 1915, the Third Brigade, which 
had displayed fearless courage and tenacity, was subjected to an 
unusual strain v/hen the Germans attempted to sweep around and 
smash their left wing. One attempt succeeded in part, consider- 
able numbers pushing past the unsupported left of the brigade, 
taking up a position between the wood and St.-Julien. This 
added to the difficulties of the Canadians, who felt that they were 
isolated from the brigade base. 

The situation called for heroic action, and it would be impos- 
sible to select any battalion for special commendation in this 
hour of crisis v/hen all displayed such valor and fortitude. The 
fate of some of the officers must be briefly described. 

Major Norsworthy, who was in the reserve trenches half a 
mile back of the firing line, was killed while attempting to bring 
up reenforcements to Major McCuaig. Captain Guy Drummond 
fell while he was engaged in rallying French troops. The death 
of these officers left Major McCuaig to handle the situation. 
Through the afternoon and night, his communications cut and 
without artillery support, this intrepid fighter held on. The 


Germans were strong enough to overwhelm him, knowing the 
weakness of his position; that they held oif was because they 
feared his supports when in reality he had none. When day- 
light came, revealing the weakness of the defense to the Germans, 
the wounded having been evacuated, Major McCuaig withdrew 
his men under fire as Major Buchanan with reenforcements 
appeared on the scene. 

The battalion, which had faced such fearful odds and held on 
until relieved, occupied dugouts until dark when they retired to 
a new line. Having waited until all the wounded were removed. 
Major McCuaig, who had faced death every moment during that 
terrible struggle, was wounded and captured by the enemy. 

The officers of the 7th Battalion (British Columbia Regiment) 
displayed no less valor during the fateful struggle than those 
whose fate has been described. This battalion, which was at- 
tached to the Third Brigade, occupied on April 23, 1915, the 
forward crest of a ridge, with its left flank near St.-Julien, and 
throughout the day was under a blasting shell fire. After receiv- 
ing orders in the afternoon to strengthen the position for hold- 
ing it during the night. Colonel Hart-McHarg of Vancouver, 
Major Odium (afterward Lieutenant Colonel commanding the 
battalion), and Lieutenant Mathewson of the Canadian En- 
gineers went out to choose the site for the new trenches which 
were to be due as soon as darkness fell. Not knowing exactly 
where the German lines were located, they suddenly became 
aware of the enemy lining the hedges not more than 100 yards 
away. In the hurried retreat Colonel Hart-McHarg was seri- 
ously wounded. Lieutenant Mathewson remained with him while 
Major Odium ran in search of help. After dark Colonel Hart- 
McHarg was carried back to battalion headquarters, but died 
during the night. 

Major Odium succeeded to the command of the battalion, which 
continued to fight off enemy attacks until, flanked both right and 
left, it was forced to retire, its fighting strength being reduced 
to 100 men. 

The 7th Battalion, after being strengthened by additional 
troops from the 10th, was again sent into the fight on the follow- 


ing day, to hold a gap in a Canadian line. Here it stood fast and 
fought until surrounded by the enemy, when the battalion suc- 
ceeded in withdrawing under cover of a heavy mist. In the 
course of three days* fighting the 7th had lost its colonel, and 600 
of its officers and men had been killed, or wounded. Some com- 
panies lost every officer. Lieutenant E. D. Bellew, machine-gun 
officer of the battalion, continued to serve his gun until it was 
destroyed, and continued to use relays of loaded rifles until 
wounded and taken prisoner. 

The Canadian line was now strengthened by the Kjng's Own 
Scottish Borderers, and the 1st Royal West Rents, and the divi- 
sion was further aided by French counterattacks, but the in- 
creasing artillery fire of the enemy and their great superiority 
in numbers rendered the Canadian salient untenable. Retire- 
ment was imperative, and fighting every yard of the way the 
Canadians fell back on St.-Julien. This place being exposed to 
enem.y fire from right and left, a further retirement was neces- 
sary. The Third Brigade began a retreat southward. Detach- 
ments of the 13th and 14th Battalions were cut off before they 
could escape from the village. After being surrounded they 
fought on until their ammunition gave out and all were killed, 
wounded, or captured. 

The retirement of the Third Brigade had exposed the flank of 
General Currie*s Second Brigade. To meet the situation, he 
flung his left flank round south, holding his line of trenches from 
the afternoon of April 22, 1916, to the afternoon of April 26, 
1915. On the last date he withdrew his undefeated troops. His 
trenches had been wiped out by artillery fire, and his fortifica- 
tions in the field had been demolished; only the spirit of the 
troops remained unbroken. 

Mention should be made here of the 8th Battalion (90th Winni- 
peg Rifles), Lieutenant Colonel Lipsett commanding, which held 
the extreme left of the brigade position and held on through a 
most critical period. Early in the morning of April 23, 1915, 
this battalion had been driven from the trenches by a violent gas 
attack, but in less than an hour counterattacked and recaptured 
the trenches, bayoneting the enemy. Colonel Lipsett held the 


position after the forced retirement of the Third Brigade, his 
left "in the air," until the night of the 24th, when two British 
regiments arrived and filled the gap. 

Two companies of the 8th Battalion were relieved by Durham 
Light Infantry on the morning of the 25th and retired to reserve 
trenches. The Durhams were so badly hammered by the enemy 
during the day that a company of the 8th Canadian Battalion 
replaced them on the extreme left of the Canadian line. The 
Germans were in position to the rear of this company, while their 
guns on the left flank enfiladed it. The Canadians were ordered 
to retire, and the movement was carried out with a loss of 45 per 
cent of their strength. The platoon covering the retirement 
had all its officers and men either killed or taken prisoners. 

The Germans had captured the village of St.-Julien in the morn- 
ing of April 25, 1915, and the situation demanded an offensive 
movement to check their further progress. General Alderson, 
commanding the Canadians and also the reenforcements, directed 
the advance of the Tenth Brigade under General Hull and the 
Northumberland Brigade through the Canadian left and center. 
As we are dealing with the story of the Canadian contingent, it 
is only necessary to say that the British troops succeeded in 
arresting the German advance. 

The Second and Third Brigades and the reenforcements had 
retired, fighting all the way, to a line which ran roughly from 
Fortuin south of St.-Julien toward Passchendaele, where they 
were relieved by two British brigades. 

The Canadians were out of the firing line on April 26, 1915, 
but, owing to the force of the enemy's attacks, General Currie's 
Second Brigade, reduced to a quarter of its strength, was com- 
pelled to return to the firing line. Throughout the 26th they held 
the apex of the line, and not until two days later were they re- 
lieved and sent to billets in the rear. During the struggle Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Kemis-Betty, Brigade Major, and Major Mer- 
sereau. Staff Captain, were both wounded by a shell. Colonel 
Kemis-Betty continued, despite his serious wounds, to discharge 
his duties throughout April 26, 1915. Major Mersereau, who 
was very badly injured, was removed to General Currie's dugout 


and remained there until night as no ambulance was available. 
He was finally removed under shell fire by Colonel Mitchell of the 
Headquarters Staff as far as Fortuin, and afterward invalided 
home to Canada. 

The principal achievements of the Canadians at Ypres having 
now been described in outline, there remains to be recorded an 
operation carried out by Lieutenant Colonel Watson. In the 
night of April 28, 1915, Colonel Watson was commanded to carry 
out a dangerous and difficult task. This was to advance with his 
battalion and dig a line of trenches which would link up with the 
French on the left and the Rifle Brigade on the right. Proceed- 
ing north toward St.-Julien he was held up for an hour by a 
storm of shrapnel, but moved on again at 8 o'clock. After cross- 
ing the bridge over the Ypres Canal great precautions were 
taken to conceal the movements of the battalion from the enemy. 
The newly arrived officers and men who had joined the battalion 
that morning received a terrible baptism of fire in this their first 
experience at the front. The Germans, believing that some im^ 
portant movement was under way, filled t?ie air with high ex- 
plosives, and their shells rained down on every hedgerow and 
clump of trees that the battalion passed. It was a long and 
terrifying journey, and considering conditions the casualties 
were few. The battalion finally arrived behind the first-line 
trench, which was held at the time by a battalion of the King's 
Own Borderers. Reaching the place where the trenches were to 
be dug, Colonel Watson led out two companies, while two others 
acted as covers for the diggers. Through the night the work 
v/ent on while enemy guns and rifles from the neighboring ridge 
were active. Though star shells and flares v/ere numerous, and 
the Germans must have been aware of the work that was going 
on, all their bullets passed fortunately over the heads of the 
trench diggers, who worked steadily at their task. It was 2 
o'clock in the morning when the battalion completed its work. 
The officers and men were so exhausted that many slept on the 
march back to the billets. 

In the afternoon of May 2, 1915, the First Canadian Infantry 
Brigade was moved to the support of the Tenth and Twelfth 


Infantry Brigades (British) because of the gas which flooded 
the entire front. The poisonous fumes had disabled the troops 
of the Twelfth Brigade, and they were forced to fall back, but 
the Tenth Brigade stood fast. 

During the night of May 3, 1915, and the morning of the 4th, 
the First Canadian Infantry Brigade withdrew from the line 
and went into billets at Bailleul. General Alderson in the night 
of May 4 handed over the command of the section to the general 
officer commanding the Fourth Division, withdrawing the Third 
Infantry Brigade on that date and the Second Canadian Infantry 
Brigade on the following day. 

The second phase of the Second Battle of Ypres dates from the 
time that the British line was readjusted. An account of the 
noble part played by the Princess Patricia's Light Infantry in 
subsequent operations must be recorded. The regiment from 
April, 1915, occupied trenches south and west of those held by 
the Canadian Division, where they were constantly under shell 
fire. The "Princess Pats" were eager to take part in the battle 
to the north, where their brothers in arms were engaged in a 
desperate struggle, but not until May 4 were they afforded an 

On that date the regiment occupied a new line. A strong 
enemy attack developed which was beaten off. Throughout the 
day the regiment was heavily bombarded, and some of their 
trenches were destroyed. During the night they were relieved 
by the King's Shropshire Light Infantry and withdrew to reserve 
trenches. Major Gault arrived on May 5, 1915, and took over 
the command, Lieutenant Colonel Buller having lost an eye 
from the splinter of a shell. 

In the night of May 6, 1915, the "Princess Pats," who had been 
fretting over their inaction, were sent to relieve the 2d Shrop- 
shire's in the trenches. The Germans maintained a heavy bom- 
bardment throughout the night and the next day. On May 7, 
1915, the roll call showed the strength of the battalion as 635. 

The battalion the next day came under heavy shell fire, which 
began on the right flank, followed by enfilading the fire trenches. 
Preceded by gas shells, the Germans advanced on the double 


from the hill in front of the trench, but were beaten back by rifle 
fire. Every telephone wire having been cut by 6 a. m., it was 
necessary to dispatch every signaler, pioneer, orderly, and serv- 
ant at battalion headquarters to man the support trenches. 

The struggle was short but intense, and the Germans were 
thrown back, leaving many dead and wounded on the field. But 
though repulsed, the enemy were still able to inflict great damage. 
They had installed several machine guns in buildings near, and 
could sweep the parapets of the Canadian fire and support 
trenches. A runner was dispatched to brigade headquarters to 
inform them of the situation. 

Major Gault was badly wounded in the arm and thigh by a 
shell at 7 a. m., and as it was impossible to move him, he lay in 
a trench for ten hours, enduring without a murmur intense suf- 
fering. Lieutenant Niven, the next senior officer who was un- 
wounded, took over the command. 

The Germans now brought heavy howitzers into action, using 
high explosives which, with the work of the field guns, wrought 
havoc among the trenches, demolishing them at some points. 

The enemy's infantry made an attack at 9 o'clock, but were 
assailed by such heavy machine-gun and rifle fire that they were 
at first halted and then driven to seek cover. The Germans lost 
heavily in this encounter, but the battalion also suffered many 
casualties. Of the officers. Captain Hill, and Lieutenants Martin, 
Triggs, and De Bay were wounded. 

The commanding officer. Lieutenant Niven, succeeded in estab- 
lishing contact with the King's Own Light Infantry on the left, 
and the Fourth Rifle Brigade on the right, but as these forma- 
tions had been badly punished, they were unable to afford any 

The Germans had taken the exact range of the Canadian ma- 
chine guns and buried every one of them. The gunners dug them 
out and served them again. One gun was buried by the enemy 
fire three times, dug up and put into action, but was finally 
demolished by a shell which also destroyed the whole section. 
Corporal Dover, who had served his gun throughout this trying 
period, lost a leg and an arm in the explosion. After being dug 

War St, 8— Tic 


out by comrades, and while he was being lowered into the trench, 
ian enemy bullet ended the brave man's sufferings. 

The Germans maintained this deadly and destructive fire, and 
by 10.30 fully half of the right fire trench had been demolished. 
Lieutenant Denison then ordered Lieutenant Clark to withdrav/ 
the remnant of command into a communication trench on the 
right, while he held on himself with Lieutenant Lane and a few 
men to that part of the fire trench which was still tenable. The 
German guns continued their deadly work. Lieutenant Edwards 
v/as killed. The left fire trench was blown in, and the machine 
guns silenced. Sergeant Scott and a few men who survived en- 
tered a communication trench and held fast until it too was 
demolished. Lieutenant Crawford, serving in the hottest corners 
in the morning, was badly wounded. Captain Adamson, wounded 
in the shoulder, continued to serve out small ammunition with a 
single arm. Sergeant Major Eraser was killed while perform- 
ing similar work. There were now only four officers remaining : 
Lieutenants Papineau, Niven, Vandenberg, and Clark. Lieu- 
tenants Niven and Clark were troopers when the war began. 

When the supplies of small-arms ammunition were almost ex- 
hausted about noon on May 7, 1915, it was the snipers of the 
battalion who carried messages across the heavily shell-swept 
ground to the brigade headquarters, and to the Reserve Bat- 
talion at Belle- Waarde Lake in the rear. 

A contingent of the Fourth Rifle Brigade reenforced the des- 
perately tried battalion early in the afternoon, their arrival being 
greeted by hearty cheers from the weary defenders. They 
brought with them a machine-gun section which was of in- 
estimable value at that time. The Rifles were placed on the 
extreme right to protect the battalion's flanks, in line with the 
Canadian support trenches hidden by trees and hedgerows. 

Lieutenant Niven, the commanding officer, at 2 p. m. visited 
headquarters to describe the situation of the battalion returning 
half an hour later. During his journey both of the orderlies who 
accompanied him were struck by explosive shells. 

About 3 p. m. the battalion welcomed a detachment of the 
King's Shropshire Light Infantry, who brought with them 


twenty boxes of small-arms ammunition, which were at once 
distributed as they were sorely needed. The Shropshires were 
assigned to the left end of the support trench. 

When later in the afternoon the support trenches were in- 
spected it was discovered that a gap of about fifty yards existed, 
and the few men who could be spared were hurried there to 
reestablish contact with the regiment on the left. This quick 
move had just been made when news came that the battalions on 
the left had been forced to withdraw to a line of trenches in 
the rear. 

The Germans now began their last attack, which was vigor- 
ously pressed. A few succeeded in penetrating the fire trench on 
the right, which was practically undefended, all the Princess 
Patricias having fallen. But they only occupied the trench for 
a short time and their last offensive ended in failure. 

The situation of the Canadians did not improve as the long 
afternoon wore away. The number of casualties was constantly 
increasing. All the company commanders were dead or wounded 
by 10 o'clock at night, and'the roll call showed a strength of 150 
rifles and a few stretcher bearers. 

Shortly before midnight the King's Royal Rifle Corps relieved 
the battalion and assisted in the burial of the dead. Those who 
had fallen in the fire trenches were already buried under the 
earth which the German shells had thrown over them. 

The remnant of the shattered regiment, with bared heads, 
stood by the open graves of their comrades, while Lieutenant 
Niven, holding the gloriously stained colors of the Princess 
Patricias, recited the Church of England service for the dead. 

After the simple and impressive ceremony the survivors of the 
battalion still lingered around the graves of their comrades until 
the colonel of the Rifles ordered them to retire. Led by Lieuten- 
ant Papineau the Canadians in sad silence went back to reserve 
trenches and later were ordered to another part of the position. 
During the day the section of trenches they occupied was heavily 
shelled and they lost five men killed and several wounded. 

The Princess Patricias were in bivouac in the rear on May 13, 
1915, when news arrived that their old fellow fighters, the Fourth 


Rifle Brigade, were in a difficult position and sorely pressed by 
the enemy. They at once formed a composite battalion with the 
Fourth King's Rifle Corps and hurried to the relief of their 
friends, whom they helped to break down the German assaults. 
This was the last effort that the survivors of the regiment were 
called upon to make at this stage of the war. 

What the Princess Patricias accomplished during the re- 
mainder of the year 1915 may be described here though the 
record runs ahead of the story of the Canadian Division. 

Major Pelly, who had been invalided to England in March, 
1915, returned to the regiment on May 15, 1915, and took over 
the command from Lieutenant Niven, who had so bravely served 
throughout the darkest hours in the regiment's history. 

Early in June, 1915, the Princess Patricias held a trench line 
at Armentieres and continued there until the last days of August, 
1915. Lieutenant C. J. T. Stewart, and other officers who had 
been wounded in the spring fighting, returned to the battalion, 
and reenf orcements from Canada brought it up to full strength. 

With the Twenty-seventh Division the battalion occupied a 
line of trenches held by the Third Army, and subsequently the 
Princess Patricias went into billets far back of the fighting area. 
On November 27, 1915, they were once more united with the 
Canadian Corps from whom they had long been separated. 






IN staging the Battle of Festubert, where the Canadians fought 
with distinction and again displayed their dashing bravery 
and staying powers, the Allies had a definite purpose in view. 
General Joffre had prepared a great offensive in May, 1915, in 


Artois, and the French had made important progress, but some 
defenses of Lens, the key to the whole French objective, remained 
in possession of the enemy. The Germans were sending power- 
ful reenforcements into the south, and Sir John French, acting 
with the French commander, advanced his forces to attack. His 
purpose was to arrest the German reenforcements headed for 
Lens, and afford the British a chance to capture Aubers Ridge, 
which they had failed to do at Neuve Chapelle. The Ridge 
dominated Lille and La Bassee, and if the French suceeded in 
their part of the plan, which was to reach Lens, the Allies would 
be strong enough to push on together toward the city which was 
their objective. 

The German positions were attacked on May 9, 1915. In brief 
detail the engagement was planned as follows: Sir Herbert 
Plumer with the Second Army was to protect Ypres while the 
Third Corps held Armentieres. Sir Douglas Haig's First Army 
was to carry intrenchments and redoubts on the right of Prince 
Rupprecht's Army. The Fourth Corps was to attack the German 
position at Rouge Bancs northwest of Fromeles, and the First 
Corps and Indian Corps were to occupy the plain between Neuve 
Chapelle and Givenchy and then take the Aubers Ridge. 

The fighting was vigorously pressed by the British for several 
days and nights, followed by a lull, but on May 16, 1915, the 
struggle was renewed. The Second and Seventh Divisions, 
which had been badly shattered, were withdrawn from the fight- 
ing line, their places being taken by the Canadian Division and 
the Fifty-first Highland Division (Territorials). 

The British attack had failed to clear the way to Lille and 
Aubers Ridge was still in German hands. British and Canadian 
troops had again and again pierced but not broken the Ger- 
man lines, taking the first, second, and third trenches. The re- 
sult was to split up the German line into innumerable fortified 
strong points. They were on the defensive, and the front with its 
pits, quarries, mills, farms, etc., had all been transformed into 
small forts that were packed with machine guns. These forts 
were linked together by tunnels and galleries reenforced with 
concrete. Had the British and Canadians been amply supplied 


with guns and ammunition, the task of reducing these many forts 
would still have been a long and difficult task. The British attack 
weakened when it was found that the artillery was not strong 
enough to reduce the German fortifications and it ceased entirely 
on May 26, 1915. 

The failure of the British at Festubert was attributed in many 
quarters to the shortage of munitions. In England press and 
public raised such an outcry as to produce a crisis that led to a 
Coalition Government. Festubert served to arouse the nation to 
a sense of the mighty task it had undertaken and the need of 
greater effort if victory was to be won. Out of this determination 
to prosecute the war more vigorously the War Committee was 
created and later the Allies* Grand Council of War in Paris. 

The Canadian Division after the Second Battle of Ypres had 
moved into billets where until May 14, 1915, the tired troops en- 
joyed a much-needed rest. Headquarters had moved to the 
southern section of the British line and preparations were under 
way for a new offensive operation. Reenforcements were con- 
stantly arriving from the Canadian base in England, where fresh 
troops from the Dominion gathered in increasing numbers. 

On May 17, 1915, the Canadian infantry brigades, raised to 
full strength, were on their way to the firing lines. By this date 
the British had driven two salients into the German lines, one 
north of Festubert and the other to the south of it. The opera- 
tion of connecting the two salients was pressed during the day. 

On May 18, 1915, the Canadian Third Brigade occupied reserve 
trenches, two companies of the 14th (Royal Montreal) Battalion 
commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Meighen, and two companies 
of the 16th (Canadian Scottish) under Lieutenant Colonel (after- 
ward Brigadier General) Leckie being ordered to advance on 
La Quinque Rue to the northwest of an Orchard which the Ger- 
mans had made a strong defensive position. The 16th Canadian 
Scottish were ordered to make a flanking movement on this 
position, advancing for this purpose through an old German 
communicating trench. They were to attack at the same time 
as the frontal attack developed. This movement was hurriedly 
carried out, there being no time to reconnoiter the ground. The 


16th battalion company which undertook the flanking operation 
reached its position. The remaining company of that regiment 
and the 14th advanced under intense shell fire, reaching part of 
their objective, but were unable at once to carry out the attack 
on the German position in the Orchard as they lacked a covering 
fire. They were ordered to dig themselves in and link up with 
the Wiltshire Battalion on the right and the Coldstream Guards 
on the left. This was after an advance had been made of about 
500 yards. Two companies of the 16th sent up by Lieutenant 
Colonel Leckie came to their assistance in the work of trench 
digging and relieved the two original companies at daybreak. 

Sometime in the night the companies of the 14th Battalion 
(Royal Montreal) were also withdrawn, the Coldstream Guards 
on one flank and the 16th Canadian Scottish on the other spread- 
ing out so as to hold the trench. 

The attack on the Orchard was ordered for the night of May 
20, 1915. Major Leckie, a brother of the Lieutenant Colonel of 
that name, made a reconnoissance of the German position. One 
of the patrols engaged in this work had a narrow escape from 
being cut off by the enemy and the other suffered a number of 
casualties, showing that the Germans were alert and that the 
Canadians had a hard task before them. In the course of the 
night the Canadian Scottish had worked their way forward and 
established a garrison of thirty men with two machine guns in a 
deserted house not far from the German lines. 

This operation was carried out with such secrecy that the 
enemy never learned that a garrison was in the building, which 
remained unharmed while all the British trenches were under 
heavy bombardment. 

The hour fixed for the attack on the Orchard was 7.45 p. m. 
Major Rae had command of the two attacking companies, the 
Canadian Scottish under Captain Morison and Major Peck. It 
'was planned that while these companies attacked the 15th Bat- 
talion were to strike at a German position on the right. 

In the afternoon the Canadian artillery hammered the Orchard 
position, the bombardment increasing in intensity as the zero 
hour approached. When the thunder of the guns ceased the two 


companies of the 16th Canadians went over the top, and ad- 
vanced, while the machine guns in the garrisoned house opened 
fire on the German position. As it was now clear daylight the 
Germans were alert, and a storm of shrapnel machine-gun and 
rifle fire assailed the Canadians who continued steadily to push 

Having gained the edge of the Orchard, they were confronted 
by a deep ditch full of water backed by a hedge which had been 
made into a strong barricade with wire. The Canadians crossed 
the ditch, though the water was up to their necks in some places, 
and broke through the hedge. By this time the Germans had 
mostly retired from the Orchard to trenches in the rear, leaving 
only a guard to hold the position, until they could get reenforce- 
ments and return to drive out the attackers. The Germans left 
in the Orchard manned a machine-gun redoubt in a central posi- 
tion where they might have worked considerable destruction on 
their assailants, but for some reason they did not attempt to 
fight when the Canadians appeared, but retreated with their 
guns. The main body of the Germans, however, returned to 
contest the advance, and though outnumbering the Canadians 
two to one they were forced to beat a hasty retreat. The Orchard 
position was cleared by three platoons; the fourth, being com- 
pelled to make a detour owing to an impassable ditch, did not 
arrive on the scene until the occupation of the Orchard was 

One company which had not penetrated the Orchard occupied 
a trench running in a southwesterly direction which the Germans 
had abandoned. This movement was made to prevent the enemy 
from making a flank counterattack while the assault on the 
Orchard was in progress. It was a highly exposed position, but 
important to hold for the success of the attack, and the Germans' 
fire caused many casualties. Had the enemy been able to get 
back into this position — which they had evidently planned to do 
after the bombardment of the Orchard — ^the operation carried 
out by the Canadians might have failed of success. 

One of the bravest exploits of the many performed during the 
struggle was that of Sapper Harmon of the 1st Field Company, 


C. E., one of a party of twelve sappers and fifty infantrymen 
of the 3d Canadian Battalion, which had constructed a barricade 
of sandbags across a road leading to the Orchard while under 
heavy fire. The Germans later smashed the barrier with a shell, 
and Harmon wormed his way forward and repaired it while a 
machine gun not more than sixty yards away was pumping 
bullets into the barricade. Of Harmon's party which went 
out to build the obstruction, six of the twelve were killed, 
and of the infantry, out of fifty, six were killed and twenty- 
four wounded. 

Sapper Harmon continued his dangerous and useful work in 
the Orchard, where alone and unassisted he worked for thirty- 
six hours digging tunnels to serve in subsequent operations. 

A short time after the capture of the Orchard the Canadians 
played a little trick on the Germans that cost the latter many 
casualties. While the Canadian artillery hammered a section of 
their line, a great show was made of preparing to attack as soon 
as the firing ceased. As was their usual custom the Germans 
fell back on their support trenches ready to rush forward when 
the bombardment ceased and meet the Canadian attack. The 
operation did not develop exactly as they expected, for after the 
guns shifted from the front trenches and shelled the supports, 
and the Germans notwithstanding pushed forward and occupied 
the front trenches the Canadian infantry did not attack. They 
stood fast while their guns shortened range and the enemy 
crowded in the front trenches received the full blast of a de- 
vastating fire. The German wireless on the following day re- 
ported that a heavy Canadian attack had been repulsed. 

Early in the evening of May 20, 1915, the 13th Battalion 
(Royal Highlanders), commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Loomis, 
moved across the British trenches under intense shell fire that 
caused heavy casualties, in support of the 16th Battalion Cana- 
dian Scotch. 

Three companies of the 13th Battalion (Royal Highlanders), 
after the Orchard had been won, now marched forward under 
Major Buchanan, who replaced the commanding officer, who was 
severely wounded. A fourth company advanced and occupied a 


support trench in the immediate rear. The position having been 
consolidated, the weary but elated 16th Battalion, which had 
performed such brilliant work, withdrew from the scene. 

North of the Orchard the Germans made a demonstration in 
the afternoon of May 21, 1915, but the fire of the Canadian 
artillery dispersed them. The Germans did not attempt to 
attack during the night though they kept up a constant musketry 
fire. Canadian working parties by the light of German flares 
were busy improving the position, which they left in excellent 
condition when the 3d Toronto Battalion of the First Brigade 
relieved the Royal Highlanders. 

The Second Canadian Infantry Brigade had in the night of 
May 19, 1915, taken over trenches recently won by the Twenty- 
first British Brigade and also a section of trenches from the 
Forty-seventh Division. Meanwhile the 8th and 10th Battalions 
occupied the front-line trenches, while the 5th Battalion went 
into Brigade Reserve with one company at Festubert. Three 
companies bivouacked near the Willow Road, and the 7th Bat- 
talion joined the Divisional Reserve. 

Major Guthrie, who had joined the 10th Canadian Battalion 
at Ypres as a lieutenant, after most of its officers were casualties, 
made an effort in the early evening of May 20, 1915, to capture 
an important position known as Bexhill. The attempt was not 
successful, for the preliminary bombardment was ineffectual, 
and the troops were forced to cross a gap in the fire trench in 
open view of the Germans, who made the most of the opportunity. 
The only approach to the coveted position was through an old 
communicating trench that the enemy could easily sweep with 
their machine guns. The 10th Battalion, after all the leading 
men in the advance company had been struck down, was forced 
to retire. (The casualties of the 10th Battalion while in action 
during April and May, 1915, were 809. At Ypres alone the 
casualties were 600 of all ranks.) 

During the night the Canadians carried out a successful recon- 
noissance of the German position and the gap in the fire trenches 
was repaired. Covered communications were now assured for 
further operations in all parts of the line. 


In the evening of May 21, 1915, the German position was 
heavily bombarded under the direction of Brigadier General 
Burstall and continued until 8.30, when two companies of the 
10th Battalion and the grenade company of the First Canadian 
Brigade launched the attack. The German redoubt on Bexhill 
responded with a withering machine-gun fire against which it 
was impossible to advance. The Canadian left was badly cut up 
and unable to move. Those attacking on the right gained the 
trench line running southward from Bexhill, and, with bombers 
leading the way, drove the Germans for a considerable distance 
down the trench and then hurriedly threw up a barricade to hold 
what they had gained. The Germans made several attempts in 
the course of the night to win back the trench, but their every 
effort failed. 

The Canadian attack had achieved only a partial success, and 
this was won at a heavy cost. As at Ypres they displayed the 
same unflinching bravery while facing heavy odds, and the only 
marvel was that they had been able to gain so much. Individual 
acts that deserved the V. C. were many. Major E. J. Ashton of 
Saskatoon, who had been wounded in the head on the previous 
night and continued to serve, was again wounded. Corporal 
W. R. Brooks, a sniper belonging to the 10th Battalion, during 
the night left the trench under heavy fire and brought back two 
men of the Camerons who had been lying for three days in 
the field. 

The Germans made another effort to regain the captured 
trench at daybreak on May 22, 1915. They maintained a furious 
bombardment that lasted all day until the trench was reduced 
to ruins. Forced to abandon the southern end of the trench, the 
Canadians, despite their heavy casualties, clung to the remaining 
portion, where they built another barricade. 

The courage displayed by officers and men during the bom- 
bardment was beyond praise. Though practically at the mercy 
of the enemy, their spirit remained unbroken. Captain Mc- 
Means, Lieutenant Smith-Rowse, and Lieutenant Passmore were 
killed, and Lieutenant Denison was wounded. Half of the men 
of the company were killed or wounded, but the poor remnant 


clung obstinately to the position. Captain J. M. Prowse having 
been wounded, returned to his command as soon as his wounds 
were dressed, and even after he had been buried under the para- 
pet continued to serve. Company Sergeant Major John Hay de- 
serves special mention for the gallant example of fortitude he 
displayed, steadying and controlling the men of his company 
after all the officers and half of the troopers were dead or 

The Germans prepared an infantry attack in the afternoon, 
but were driven back by the Canadian artillery and machine-gun 
fire. In the course of the night British troops and a detachment 
of the First Canadian Infantry Brigade and King Edward's 
Horse and Strathcona's Horse took over the trenches. The 
Strathconas served as infantry, and it was the first time that 
they took part in the Great War. Their services in the South 
African campaign will be remembered. 

The trench held by the 8th Canadian Battalion, which had lost 
about 90 per cent of its officers and men, was relieved by King 
Edward's Horse. The Post Office Rifles of the Forty-seventh 
Division were on the right of Strathcona's Horse, but the latter 
manned the Rifles' machine guns. 

The Seventh Prussian Army Corps started a massed attack 
upon King Edward's Horse on May 23, 1915, but were driven 
back by the heavy fire of the Canadian artillery brigades. 

At 11 o'clock at night on this date the 5th Canadian Battalion 
was ordered to take Bexhill salient and redoubt, which had been 
attempted before without success. The attacking force consisted 
of two companies of the battalion, about 500 men, under Major 
Edgar. In addition 100 men from the 7th (British Columbia) 
Battalion, divided into two parties, were assigned to the work of 
constructing bridges before the attack and to consolidating the 
positions that were won. Lieutenant (afterward Captain) R. 
Murdie, commanding the bridge makers (50 men) , took his party 
out in the early morning of the 24th while the moon was still 
brightly shining, and threw out twelve bridges over a ditch filled 
with water between the Canadian line and their objective in the 


At 2.45 a. m. the Canadians went over the top. Lieutenant 
Tozer with the battalion bombers reached the German communi- 
cation trench leading to the redoubt and after an intense struggle 
occupied the redoubt. The attacking party won about 200 yards 
of trenches to the left of it and a small strip on the right, clearing 
out the enemy, who lost heavily. 

The two attacking companies of the 5th Battalion, reenforced 
by a company of the 7th Battalion and a squadron of Strathcona's 
Horse, were now strong enough to attempt the capture of Bex- 
hill proper. The attack was vigorously pressed against stiff 
enemy opposition, and shortly before 6 o'clock in the morning the 
German strong point had been won and 130 yards of trenches to 
the north of the position. A little later a platoon from the 5th 
Battalion arrived with orders to dig in and hold fast. The Ger- 
mans held very strong positions and it was not deemed expedient 
to attempt to win more ground at that time. Major Odium now 
assumed command of the 5th Battalion as Colonel Tuxford had 
fallen ill and Major Edgar was wounded. 

The small force under Major Edgar had suffered heavy losses, 
especially among th^ officers. The commanders of the two com- 
panies. Major Tenaille and Captain Hopkins, were killed, and 
also Captains Maikle, Currie, McGee, and Mundell, while Major 
Thornton, Captain S. J. Anderson, Captain Endicott, Major 
Morris, Lieutenant Quinan, and Lieutenant Davis were wounded. 
Major Powley was wounded while bringing up his company from 
the 7th. The enemy's guns were active throughout the morning, 
but the accurate fire of the Canadian artillery held them to their 
position, and no attack to recover the redoubt was attempted. 

Throughout the day the captured trenches were held by those 
who had won them. At night they were relieved by the Royal 
Canadian Dragoons and the 2d Battalion of the First Brigade. 
It was time, for the Second Brigade had never passed through a 
more fiery trial, having lost 55 officers and 980 men. 

At 11.30 p. m. on May 24, 1915, the 3d Battalion under Lieu- 
tenant Colonel (afterward Brigadier General) Rennie made an 
assault on a strong German machine-gun redoubt known as The 
Well. In the first rush they won a section of trench, but the 


machine-gun fire was so intense in the redoubt that to attempt 
an advance, or to hold on would have caused needless sacrifice of 
Kf e. The heroic attackers were forced to retire, having incurred 
Severe losses. 

Brigadier General Seeley, M. P., a popular and experienced 
officer, assumed command of the troops which had captured Bex- 
hill on the following day. Arriving at a critical moment, he at 
once grasped the situation and took measures to improve condi- 
tions. General Seeley was in command through two trying days 
and nights, inspiring the officers and men with his courage and 
activity. It was a time of severe trial for the brigade, whose 
losses were heavy, especially in officers. Lieutenant W. G. Ten- 
nant of Strathcona's Horse was killed, and the wounded included 
Major D. D. Young, Royal Canadian Dragoons; Major J. A. 
Hesketh, Strathcona's Horse; Lieutenants A. D. Cameron, D. C. 
McDonald, J. A. Sparkes, Strathcona's Horse ; Major C. Harding, 
and Lieutenants C. Brook and R. C. Everett, King Edward's 

It would be impossible in this narrative to record all the acts 
of bravery performed by officers and men during these days of 
struggle, but a few should be described as examples of the fight- 
ing spirit. Among the bravest of the brave mention must be 
made of Major Arthur Cecil Murray, M. P., to whose efforts the 
gain in ground on the left was in large measure due. Major 
Murray inspired the men with his own intrepid spirit, leading 
his squadron as coolly as if on parade, and held his ground under 
heavy machine-gun fire while the work of constructing a parapet 
was under way. Lieutenant (afterward Captain) J. A. Critchley 
of Strathcona's Horse, armed with bombs, attacked the Germans' 
machine-gun redoubt under heavy fire. In the night of May 25, 
1915, Corporal Legge of the Royal Canadian Dragoons crept out 
of the trenches and located a German machine gun which had 
caused many casualties, and which his regiment were then en- 
abled to silence. 

Sergeant Morris of King Edward's Horse on the same date 
accompanied the brigade grenade company, reenforcing the Post 
Office Rifles of the Forty-seventh London Division, who were 


engaged in an attack on a German position. Sergeant Morris 
led a party down a Grerman communication trench, and, after all 
were killed or wounded but himself, fought on alone with bombs, 
rifle, and bayonet until the Post Office Rifles arrived on the scene 
and he was relieved. 

On May 26, 1915, Corporal Pym of the Royal Canadian 
Dragoons heard cries for help in English between the lines, and 
crawling out of his trench, making his way across the field swept 
by machine-gun and rifle fire, reached a wounded man who had 
been lying there for three days and nights. Finding it impossible 
to bring in the unfortunate alone, owing to his severe wounds, 
Pym sent a call to the trench for help. Sergeant Hollowell im- 
mediately responded, but was killed just as he reached the two 
men in the field. Pym after many efforts succeeded in bringing 
in the wounded soldier alive. 

The 4th Canadian Battalion was under incessant fire at Festu- 
bert through ten days and eleven nights. On May 27, 1915, all 
communication wires between the fire trenches and battalion and 
brigade headquarters had been cut by the enemy's fire. Private 
(afterward Lieutenant) W. E. F. Hart volunteered to mend the 
wires and succeeded in repairing eleven breaks, reestablishing 
communications. In the Orchard he worked under heavy shrap- 
nel fire without cover for an hour and a half, completing the 
work he had set out to perform. Hart, who owned a farm 
near Brantford, Ontario, was with the battalion since August, 

1914. He afterward became a signaling officer of the 4th 

Sergeant Hickey, who had distinguished himself in April, 

1915, at Pilckem Ridge, when he brought in five wounded men 
under heavy shell fire, performed a no less heroic act at Festu- 
bert. On May 24, 1915, he volunteered to try and recover two 
trench mortars that had been abandoned on the previous day. 
None of the 4th Battalion expected him to return alive through 
the storm of fire the Germans were creating, but he returned with 
the mortars and, what was even more important, with informa- 
tion concerning a short safe route by which troops could be 
brought up from the reserve trenches to the firing line. This 


brave soldier, who had risked death so many times, was killed by 
a stray bullet on May 30, 1915. 

The Canadian division was withdrawn on May 31, 1915, and 
moved to the south of the British line, where the routine of trench 
warfare was continued until the middle of June, 1915. 

Among the minor engagements between the close of the Battle 
of Festubert and the great struggle at Loos the fight at Givenchy 
stands out conspicuous. Here the Canadians again demonstrated 
their unconquerable spirit and stubborn bravery. 

The Seventh British Division had been ordered to make a 
frontal attack on a German position known as Stony Mountain 
and the 1st Canadian (Ontario) Battalion under Lieutenant 
Colonel Hill of the First Brigade was detailed to capture two lines 
of German trenches running south from Stony Mountain to an- 
other strong point called Dorchester. This operation was in- 
tended to secure the right flank of the British division. 

In the afternoon of June 15, 1915, the 1st Canadian Battalion 
(Ontario Regiment) reached the line of trenches opposite the 
position to be attacked, joining the 2d Canadian Battalion under 
Lieutenant Colonel Watson. To the right of the attacking bat- 
talion the 2d and 4th Canadian Battalions held the line to the La 
Bassee Canal, the 3d Canadian Toronto Regiment in support, the 
East Yorks holding the left. 

For three hours in the evening the Ontario Regiment was 
under enemy fire awaiting the order to charge. Two 18-pounders 
had been installed in the infantry trenches under cover of dark- 
ness and fifteen minutes before zero hour they opened fire on the 
German parapets. One gun under the direction of Lieutenant 
C. S. Craig cleared the ground of wire entanglements and 
smashed two German machine guns. Lieutenant Craig, who had 
been wounded at Ypres, was again injured while doing his duty 
at Givenchy. 

Lieutenant L. S. Kelly, in charge of the other gun, was success- 
ful in destroying a German machine gun, when an enemy shell 
demolished his own gun and he received at the same time a seri- 
ous wound. Corporal King was also struck down and died of his 
wounds, while several of the gun crew were wounded. 


A tragic result followed the explosion of a mine. Owing to the 
fact that water had been found under the German trenches it 
was impossible to tunnel far enough forward, so an unusually 
heavy charge was used, which it was hoped would reach the 
Germans. The explosion had a serious result in the Canadian 
trench lines, several bombers being killed and wounded, while a 
reserve depot of bombs was buried under the ruins. As the 
enemy blew up another bomb depot a little later, the shortage of 
bombs was keenly felt as there were no other supplies convenient 
to draw upon. 

It was at this time that Lieutenant Colonel Beecher, the second 
in command, was killed by a splinter from a high explosive. 

Under cover of the smoke and flying debris of the explosion 
the attacking company under Major G. J. L. Smith dashed 
forward into the devastating fire from the machine guns 
in Stony Mountain, and captured the enemy's front trench 
and Dorchester. The Canadians opposite Stony Mountain 
were held up by the enemy fire and all were either killed or 

Bombing parties had followed the leading company that at- 
tacked. The one on the right advanced without a leader, Lieu- 
tenant C. A. James, who had charge, having been killed. The 
bombing party on the left under Lieutenant G. N, Gordon nar- 
rowly escaped being wiped out. Only a few straggled back to the 
first-line trench, among whom was Lieutenant Gordon, who was 
later wounded and then killed by a German bomb. 

A blocking party of eight sappers of the 1st Field Company of 
Canadian Engineers, which had followed the leading company 
into the attack, had also been all killed and wounded; but one 
man. Sapper Harmon, gathering bombs from his dead and 
wounded comrades, bombed his way along the trench alone, 
finally getting away with ten bullets in his body after he had 
hurled his last bomb. 

The second company under Captain G. L. Wilkinson joined 
with the leading company in an attack on the German second- 
line trench. The enemy presented a stiff front and many were 
bayoneted who resisted. The group of prisoners sent back later 

War St. 8— Vc 


with an escort came under fire of their ov/n guns in Stony Moun- 
tain, and some of them were killed as well as a few of their 

The third company was in charge of Lieutenant T. C. Sims, 
the other company officers, Captain F. W. Robinson and Lieu- 
tenant P. W. Pick, having been killed at the time of the mine 
explosion. In the advance across the open space betv/een the 
lines they suffered many casualties, but completed the work of 
consolidating the first-line German trench that had been cap- 
tured. The fourth company, which now advanced to support, 
met with a series of misfortunes. Captain Delamater, the officer 
in charge, was wounded, and Lieutenant J. C. L. Young, who 
assumed command, was wounded soon after. The command now 
devolved upon Lieutenant Tranter, who a moment later was 
killed. Company Sergeant Major Owen then assumed charge, 
who proved himself fully equal to the task in bravery and re- 
source. When Lieutenant F. W. Campbell was bringing up two 
machine guns to the rear of Captain Wilkinson's company the 
whole crew of one gun were either killed or wounded. A few 
men of the other crew reached the Germans' first-line trench and 
pushed on toward Stony Mountain, preceded by bombers and 
under heavy fire, until held up by an enemy barricade. Of the 
machine-gun crew only Lieutenant Campbell and Private Vincent 
were fit to fight and they still had the machine gun and tripod. 
Lacking a suitable base, Lieutenant Campbell set up the gun on 
Private Vincent's broad back and maintained a continuous fire on 
the enemy. When German bombers invaded the trench Lieutenant 
Campbell was struck down, but succeeded in crawling out of the 
trench and was carried in a dying condition to the Canadian 
line by Company Sergeant Major Owen. Private Vincent mean- 
while had made his escape from the enemy trench and brought 
away the machine gun in safety. 

The Germans' heavy machine-gun fire forced the Canadian 
working parties to abandon the attempt to construct the line 
joining the Canadian trenches with the enemy trench that had 
been captured. The battalion's efforts were now concentrated in 
building barricades immediately south of Stony Mountain and to 


the north of Dorchester, and to maintaining a strong hold on the 
second-line trench. 

Owing to the explosion of the mine, as previously noted, the 
battalion suffered from a lack of bombs. Private Smith of South- 
ampton, Ontario, son of a Methodist minister, a young man under 
twenty, undertook to increase the supply. He had been buried 
when the mine exploded, but dug himself out. This catastrophe 
deprived the Canadians in the captured trench of bombs, and 
Private Smith, gathering bombs from the dead and wounded 
around him, crawled forward on all fours, and under fire, bring- 
ing the needed supplies to his comrades. Five times he went 
forward loaded down with bombs to the points where they were 
mostly needed, and while his clothes were reduced to tatters by 
the German fire he miraculously escaped uninjured. 

Despite Private Smith's heroic effort the supply of bombs ran 
out, while the increasing machine-gun and rifle fire from Stony 
Mountain added to the difficulties of the Canadians in holding 
the line. 

Reenforcements from the 3d Battalion arrived, but little could 
be done until more bombs could be found. Four volunteers were 
killed one by one while on their way to get more. Sergeant 
Krantz of London, Ontario, succeeded in bringing back a load, 
and Sergeant Newell, a cheesemaker of Watford, and Sergeant 
Major Cuddy, a druggist from Strathroy, went out on the same 
mission. The Canadians in the second German line, having lost 
most of their officers, were slowly forced back along the com- 
munication trench, and as nearly all the volunteers who had gone 
after bombs were killed, the supply gave out and the defense was 
in a perilous position. 

Meanwhile the British division, owing to the strength of Stony 
Mountain and of the German line north of that strong point, had 
been unable to advance on the left. The Canadians meanwhile 
stood fast, trusting that attack on the left would succeed. 

The Germans having assembled strong forces for attack, the 
remnant of the battalion, lacking bombs and other supplies, was 
forced to withdraw from all the ground that had been gained, 
losing heavily from the enemy's fire during the operation. 


Only three out of twenty-three combatant officers who were in 
this action escaped death or wounds. The fortunate ones were 
Colonel Hill, who was in the thick of the struggle and displayed 
great courage and resource, and Lieutenants S. A. Creighton and 
T. C. Sims. 

The plan of the attack was prepared by the corps commander, 
the operations of the 1st Canadian Battalion being directed by 
the Brigade Commander General Mercer. A lawyer by pro- 
fession, this distinguished officer had taken an active part in 
Canadian militia affairs for twenty-five years, and while com- 
manding officer of the Queen's Own of Toronto enjoyed uni- 
versal esteem. 

During the attack so many individual acts of bravery were 
performed — it was such a common and indeed expected thing — 
that they failed to attract much attention, but a few examples of 
heroism must be noted. 

On the day after the attack, when the space between the British 
and German lines was swept by a heavy shell and rifle fire, a 
wounded man was observed lying in the open. Lance Corporal 
E. A. Barrett of the 4th Battalion, who had been steward of the 
Edmonton Club, at once volunteered to go out and bring the 
wounded man in. This act he successfully carried out in safety 
though in clear view of the enemy who made him their special 

A few days later Lieutenant Houghton of Winnipeg, machine- 
gun officer of the 8th Battalion, noticed a British soldier lying 
near a German trench and evidently badly wounded. When dark 
set in, with the assistance of Private G. F. Clark of the 8th Bat- 
talion, Winnipeg Rifles, they dug a hole in the parapet, and Clark 
went out and brought in the wounded man. A bullet through 
Clark's cap showed how narrowly he had escaped with his life. 
As the opponents' trenches here were not more than thirty-five 
yards apart the Germans must have been napping, as they failed 
to get him. After the rescue of the wounded man Private Clark 
went out and brought in a machine gun which the Canadians had 
been forced to abandon near the German trenches in the recent 


For several days after the attack the Canadians were under 
heavy artillery fire, when they were relieved, and the head- 
quarters moved to the north. Here they occupied a trench line 
taken over from the British. 

On Dominion Day the trenches were decorated with the 
flowers of France, which seemed to enrage the Germans, who 
proceeded to destroy the ornamentation by concentrated fire. 
Back of the lines the men of the Dominion celebrated the 
holiday with athletic sports, the pipers of the Scottish Cana- 
dian battalions enlivening the occasion by playing the national 
airs of Great Britain and the Allies. 



TOURING the summer various units of the Second Canadian 
-^ Division arrived in England and went into training at 
Shorncliffe, where they were more fortunate than the First Divi- 
sion, who worked through months of rain, while they had the 
benefit of sunny summer weather. 

Major General Turner took over the command from General 
Steele, who remained to command the troops at Shorncliffe. On 
September 5, 1915, the transportation of the troops to Havre was 
begun. Eight battalions were left in reserve at Shorncliffe. 

The First Division in the latter part of summer held a sector 
whose right rested on the northern edge of Ploegsteert. As the 
troops of the Second Division joined the fighting line the sector 
was extended northward until the left rested on a point a short 
distance south of St.-Eloi. The Second Division took over the 
northern line ending by St.-Eloi, while the First occupied the 
Ploegsteert area to the south. 


The Canadian Corps had been formed on September 13, 1915, 
the Second Division arriving at Caestre on the following day. 
General Alderson, being appointed corps commander, relin- 
quished the command of the First Division to General Currie and 
Brigadier General Lipsett succeeded to the Second Brigade. 
Major General Turner, then in command of the Second Division, 
was succeeded in the command of the Third Brigade by Briga- 
dier General Leckie, his brother. Major Leckie, taking over from 
him the command of the 16th Battalion. The duty planned for 
the Second Division was to relieve the Twenty-eighth British 
Division in what may be called, for convenience, the Kemmel sec- 
tion of the line, which extended north from the ground of the 
First Canadian Division. 

The relief was carried through by September 23, 1915. The 
last week of September in this year was the period of the Anglo- 
French offensive when Loos and Champagne were on every 

The Canadians staged a demonstration that would hold the 
enemy to their trenches, and prevent them from reenforcing 
their sorely tried comrades in the south. On September 25, 1915, 
the Germans could see ominous activity in the Canadian trenches. 
Orders were shouted, whistles blown, every preparation was 
made for attack. The enemy was completely fooled, put down a 
barrage behind the Canadian firing line to prevent the bringing 
up of supports and thronged their own second-line trenches 
where they were heavily shelled. When it was too late for them 
to move troops to Loos, the Canadian fire ceased and the Germans 
could then see that no new attack was intended. 

The winter of 1915-16 passed with periods of quiet broken by 
bombardments, trench raids, and encounters between patrols. 
The chief event of the New Year was the formation of the Third 
Division and at the same time the Seventh and Eighth Brigade 
took shape. The Seventh Brigade, commanded by Brigadier Gen- 
eral Macdonell, consisted of the Princess Patricias, the Royal 
Canadian Regiment, the 42d Royal Highlanders of Canada, and 
the 49th (Edmonton) Canadian Battalion. The Eighth Brigade 
was made up of the six Canadian mounted rifle regiments made 


into four infantry battalions under command of Brigadier Gen- 
eral Williams. Early in January, 1916, the Third Division was 
constituted out of these brigades, and Major General Mercer was 
appointed to the command. 

In February, 1916, began a period of close cooperation with the 
Fifth British Corps, which was to last for nearly seven weeks 
owing to the fighting around the mound at St.-Eloi. Patrol en- 
counters became frequent in the days that followed. The Cana- 
dian corps on February 17, 1916, had an unfortunate day when 
Generals Macdonell and Leckie were severely wounded by stray 

The heaviest fight in which the Canadians were engaged since 
the Second Battle of Ypres began in the night of April 3, 1916. 
The Battle of St.-Eloi will always rank among the highest achieve- 
ments of the Canadian troops, who again demonstrated in this 
hard-fought struggle their indomitable courage and stubborn 
tenacity. The Second Division had taken over the ground won by 
the Third Division in recent engagements. The opposing lines 
opposite St.-Eloi ran due east and west. The new line won by 
the Third Division was a salient thrust due south into the Ger- 
man position, receding slightly on the right and abruptly on the 
left, to meet the old British line. To quote the official story; 
"The old British line had been the arc of a bow turned north and 
the new line became the arm of a bow pushed south. The dis- 
tance between these bows never exceeded 500 yards, and both of 
them were less than 1,000 yards in length from end to end with a 
frontage of 600 yards. In the middle, running as the string of 
both concave bows, and separated by 200 or 250 yards from 
either old or new line, was the original German line, blown to 
atoms in most places, and represented through the center part of 
its length by a series of four huge mine craters. These crowned 
the mound of St.-Eloi, a rise in the ground which dominated the 
whole country." 

The explosion of the great mine had damaged trenches on both 
sides, and had created in the center of the arc of the bow a line 
of great piles of earth. The trenches captured by the Third 
Division lay in front. To the rear were the remains of the old 


line, a crater imposing a barrier between troops holding either 
side. The new front trench could not be reached except from the 
right or left, and a line is always in danger when supports can- 
not be brought up from the rear. 

The frontage at St.-Eloi was 600 to 1,000 yards, and the Ger- 
mans' guns had hammered it for three weeks until the whole 
surface of the ground was uptom. The^econd Division occupied 
this area in the night of April 3, 1916. Brigadier General 
Ketchen and the Sixth Brigade took over the immediate front 
while the Fourth and Fifth Brigades were in reserve. The 27th 
(Winnipeg) Battalion, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Snider, 
held the right of the line to the 31st (Alberta) Battalion under 
Lieutenant Colonel Bell on the left. The 29th (Vancouver) Bat- 
talion under Lieutenant Colonel Tobin was in support of the 27th 
while the 28th (Northwest) under Lieutenant Colonel Embury 
was behind the craters and in the center, supporting the 31st 
with its left. 

The Canadian communication trench from the right of the old 
Britis*h line broke out straight to the left, running east to meet 
the old original German firing trench at a spot that was known as 
Sackville Center. It was held by a company of the 27th under 
Lieutenant Wilson. To the left the line crossed the first of two 
roads that led to Wytschaete, which, running north and south, 
meet at St.-EIoi ; here the front, after a stretch of fifty yards to 
the southeast, turned due east to Bathurst Butts near the second 
road, then bent abruptly north completing the salient by meeting 
the old German firing trench at Campbelltown Corner. This line 
was 540 yards in length, the few firing platforms facing the 
wrong way, the Third Division having failed to turn it about 
when they took the line. The two companies of the 27th shared 
the frontage. Machine guns were numerous along the line, and 
as they were constantly put out of action there were frequent 
calls for additional guns. 

The relief was successfully carried out during the night of 
April 4, 1916. The British of the Sixty-first Brigade, Third 
British Division, who had been fighting for five days under heavy 
shell fire, were found to be in a thoroughly exhausted condition. 


To this badly hammered line the 27th (Winnipeg) and the 31st 
(Alberta) succeeded. 

General Turner had made plans to make the position secure 
and tenable, but before they could be more than started the Ger- 
man advance checked further operations. 

The working of evacuating the British wounded began in the 
morning, when the German guns were busy. Lieutenant Mc- 
Caw's company held fast while the bombardment destroyed the 
greater part of their position and sixty-seven out of the ninety 
men present were killed or wounded. Captain Meredith of the 
27th found that the position he was to occupy had been wiped 
out and it was only possible to find shelter for a few groups 
of bombers and his sentries in shell holes and behind impro- 
vised refuge barriers. It was necessary to send most of his 
men back while forty tried to hold a position where 200 were 

In the night of April 5-6, 1916, Captain Gwynn of the 29th 
Battalion took over Meredith's command from the left of the line 
while Lieutenant O'Brien of the same regiment relieved the 27th 
Company on the right. 

Small parties of Germans during the night of the 5th, dashing 
through the Canadian artillery fire, had been steadily massing 
within striking distance on the front, while the battered 27th 
Battalion was being relieved. 

The German artillery preparation began at 3 a. m. on April 6, 
1916. Canadian officers around the telephone dugout discovered 
that the line was cut. The bombardment increased to a tornado 
of fire. Officers were unable to rejoin their units. To move even 
was certain death; while shell holes opened everywhere and 
trenches were shattered. The Sixth Canadian Brigade found 
that many of its rifle and machine guns had become clogged with 
mud and were useless. As day broke, the Germans were seen 
advancing up the Wytschaete road tov/ard Sackville Center. Every 
Canadian gun was brought to bear, but the mud thrown up by 
the bombardment had put them out of action, and groups were 
too isolated to make a counterattack with the bayonet. Lieu- 
tenant Browne of the 22d French Canadians turned his Lewis 


gun on the Germans, but after a few of the enemy were shot 
down it went out of action. The Germans dashed by toward the 
craters in the rear, overpowering the small groups holding them. 
Two or three hundred Germans with machine guns held Craters 
2 and 3, to the left of the Canadian position, and in the course of 
the day working to the left won Craters 4 and 5. The trench be- 
tween Campbelltown Corner and the old British line became un- 
tenable, and while some got back to the original line, others 
occupied Craters 6 and 7. While here they were presently at- 
tacked by the Germans, who, however, gained nothing, being 
beaten off by Major Doughty of the 31st, who organized the 
defense. All this took place while the relief of the 27th was 
being completed, a time when there is always some confusion. 
Small parties found themselves in danger of being surrounded 
and retired toward Sackville Center and Fredericton Fort, where 
Captains Gwynn and Meredith were organizing the defense. 
The officers determined to hold on though under heavy machine- 
gun fire, and called on Colonel Snider, the nearest commanding 
officer, for help. The cover was poor, and many men fell. Lieu- 
tenant Jackson went out to discover the precise position of the 
enemy and returned with one private, eight others having been 
immediately killed. The Germans' fire on the communication 
trenches made it impossible for the Canadian command to move 
up supports, and believing the enemy was only a raiding party, 
hesitated to bombard for fear that more Canadians than Ger- 
mans would be killed. Not until 5 o'clock on the 6th did General 
Kitchen learn that Craters 2 and 3 had been lost, when artillery 
fire was opened on Crater 2. 

The trench mortars in the right-hand trenches were out of 
action, but some 18-pounders were brought up and turned on the 
enemy in Crater 2. A bombing and infantry attack from the 
north and northeast was prepared and the 28th Battalion was 
ordered to move up behind the center of the position and aid in 
the assault. 

Parties of the 27th and 29th and machine-gun teams of the 
Fifth Brigade, struggling to reach the rallying point before 
Crater 1, lost heavily. Only one gun was brought out of action 


by Sergeant Naylor of the 24th. Parties of the 25th and 26th 
were never seen again. Lieutenant Browne of the 22d (French- 
Canadians) and a handful of men marched through the enemy 
line and after a hand-to-hand fight in an enemy trench reached 
Fredericton fort with only two men of his section alive. 

Captains Meredith and Gwynn, who were defending Frederic- 
ton, held on for two hours longer, their men falling fast around 
them and were then forced to retire. 

The Canadians had lost all the new line except a few outpost 
positions, and the remainder of the struggle was devoted to at- 
tempts to regain the lost ground and drive the Germans from 
the craters. 

On the morning of April 6, 1916, when headquarters learned 
of the German attack, supports and reserves of the Sixth Brigade 
were ordered forward. Two companies of the 29th were by this 
time with the 27th in the old British trenches and the new Cana- 
dian line beyond. The 28th occupied Voormezeele in the support 
center line. The 18th (Western Ontario) under Lieutenant Colonel 
Wigle, and 21st (Elastem Ontario) under Lieutenant Colonel 
Hughes, were in reserve at Dickebush. Two counterattacks were 
made simultaneously. Right-of-the-line bombers of the 27th and 
29th headed an assault on Craters 2 and 3. Bombers of the 28th 
and 31st Battalions from the left center of the line were to 
occupy Craters 4 and 5. The troops of these two regiments had 
to come up from behind St.-Eloi and the Germans turned a heavy 
barrage of fire on them. They were unfamiliar with the ground, 
and seeing the outlines of two craters before them assumed these 
were their objectives. No one knew at the time that the craters 
on the left were in German hands. The attack on Craters 2 and 
3 met with such a sweeping machine-gun fire from the Germans 
that the attack had to be abandoned. 

Canadian artillery bombarded the craters during the day, and 
it was decided to attack 4 and 5 (supposed to be Craters 2 and 3) 
in the evening of April 6, 1916. Soon after dark fifty or sixty 
Germans, who had been hiding all day in shell holes, suddenly 
attacked the 31st, but were swept away by a heavy fire and only 
a few escaped. 


Later in the evening the 28th moved forward in parties to the 
support of the much-tried 31st Battalion, making a junction v^ith 
Major Daly (21st) behind the craters held by the Canadians. 
They were ordered to assault and capture Craters 2 and 3, but 
actually advanced against Craters 4 and 5. The bombers under 
Lieutenant V. P. Murphy, supported by Captain Styles, estab- 
lished themselves near the hostile craters, but owing to the dark- 
ness and impassable mud, and the ground a mass of holes, further 
progress could not be made. 

Daybreak on the 7th found the Canadian infantry occupying 
Craters 6 and 7, but no progress had been made against German 
positions. The attackers had lost their way or were worn out 
from exhaustion. Though the opposing forces were within forty 
yards of each other during the night they had never come to 

Orders continued to come up from the rear to capture the 
enemy's intrenchments at any cost, and while reenforcements 
went forward, in the conditions existing at the front they mys- 
teriously vanished. 

That night the Fourth Brigade began to come up to the relief. 
The Sixth Brigade had fought nobly for three days and nights, 
with casualties of 617 officers and men. The 27th had lost eight 
officers and 209 of its rank and file killed or wounded. The 31st 
came next with 180 casualties, then the 29th with a roll of 180 
casualties, while the 28th lost 101. The brigade had achieved a 
glorious defeat. 

The relief, which lasted over four nights, put the 21st instead 
of the 27th on the right in the trenches, the 18th replacing the 
28th in the center support position, while the 19th took the place 
of the 31st on the left in the Canadian craters. 

Before the relief was completed on the night of April 8-9, 1916, 
a new attack was made against Craters 2 and 3. Captain Miller 
of the 21st, leading the attack on the right, was wounded in the 
engagement. With a bombing party he had gained the edge of 
Crater 2 without being observed. Finding the crater too strongly 
held, an attack was not attempted until Lieutenant Brownlee and 
fifty men reenforced the party. By this time the Germans were 


alert and started such a heavy fire that only a fourth of the party 
succeeded in struggling back to the trench. 

The assault on Crater 3 by the 18th was also a failure. Lieu- 
tenant Kerr, who led the party, was wounded, and the blasting 
German gunfire forced them to reoccupy the old British line, 
putting out an advanced post before it fifty yards from the Ger- 
man crater. There was great difficulty in getting in the wounded. 
Captain McKeough and Sergeants Richardson, Cunningham, and 
Bowie again and again dashed through the fire to bring in the 
casualties. Meanwhile the 19th Battalion was engaged in reliev- 
ing the 31st in the Canadian craters. Majors Moors and Morri- 
son (19th Battalion), who successively held this dangerous posi- 
tion, could accomplish little as the German Crater 5 dominated it. 
Attacks were made, but all failed. On the night of April 9, 1916, 
an assault was pushed with some success. Lieutenant Davidson 
(21st) and Lieutenant Brownlee with a strong party of bombers 
seized Crater 1 and pushed north to capture Crater 2 from the 
rear. Here they failed, but dug in close to its rim and con- 
solidated the ground thus won. 

The 19th Battalion continued to hold positions in the Canadian 
craters until relieved on the 12th. Among conspicuous acts of 
bravery at this time was that of Corporal A. F. Lynch, who went 
out and dragged in a machine gun the entire crew of which had 
been killed. 

Attempts were repeatedly made to wrest the lost positions 
from the enemy, but all failed. On the night of April 11, 1916, 
the Fourth Brigade was relieved by the Fifth; their casualties 
were 14 officers and 389 men. 

It was decided to reconstruct the old British line and hold fast 
to the two craters then in possession. The Fifth Brigade under 
General Watson began the work of reconstruction. The relief of 
the Fourth started on the 11th, and General Watson took over the 
line the next morning. By April 13, 1916, the relief was accom- 
plished. The position taken over consisted of trenches and posts 
in the old British line, the Craters 6 and 7, advanced trenches in 
Crater 1, and Sackville center and outposts to the north. The 
work of consolidating this last position fell to the 24th (Victoria 


Rifles). In the night of April 14-15, 1916, Lieutenants Robert- 
son and Duclos made two daring reconnoissances. Major Ross 
and Lieutenant Greenshields also went out on the same dangerous 
mission, gaining information that led to a strengthening of the 
posts in the old German trench leading to Crater 2, and the ap- 
proaches to Crater 1. Brigadier General Watson saw the neces- 
sity of making over a strong front line, and this was carried out 
under heavy fire. 

The Germans launched four successive bombing attacks on the 
night of the 14th which were repulsed by bombers under Lieu- 
tenant Farish, grenade officer of the 25th. After that, action 
merged into ordinary trench warfare though the artillery con- 
tinued active. On the 16th the weather conditions enabled aero- 
planes once more to carry out observations. Then it was dis- 
covered that Craters 4 and 5 were in German hands and Craters 
6 and 7 held by the Canadians. 

So heavy was the German fire on the Canadian craters during 
the succeeding days that the High Command considered aban- 
doning them, but finally decided that they must be held at what- 
ever cost. Brigade relieved brigade, and every eflfort was made 
to strengthen the positions. 

Early in the morning on the 15th the Germans made a power- 
ful bombing assault on Craters 6 and 7. Communications were 
broken and runners who tried to get through to the main position 
were killed or driven back. The 25th held on until relieved by 
parties of the 24th on the 16th. The relieving force immediately 
were called on to beat off another enemy attack. 

At noon on April 17, 1916, the 24th Battalion was relieved by 
the 26th. The terrible strain to which the troops were subjected at 
this time necessitated that these, too, should have relief. The 26th 
were in turn relieved by the 29th Battalion of the Sixth Brigade 
in the night of April 18-19, 1916. On the next day the defense 
collapsed. Crater 6 was held by Lieutenant Myers and forty 
men on the left, and Lieutenant Biggs occupied Crater 7 on the 
right. The Germans shelled the crater so heavily in the after- 
noon that only a few of the defenders were left alive. Then the 
Germans advanced. Lieutenant Biggs appears to have allowed 


his few men to surrender, but Lieutenant Myers fought to the 
last. Five men who tried to get away across the fire-swept coun- 
try escaped, though only one man was unwounded. They were 
the sole survivors of the garrison. All the others were killed or 
taken prisoner. 

Thus the craters which the Canadians had clung to so long 
were lost. That they were untenable was the German view, for 
no attempts were made to occupy them. On the 20th Major Tait 
of the 29th on reconnoissance with a small party found Crater 6 
demolished around the edges, and within a mass of mud full of 
dead bodies. No further efforts were made by the Canadians to 
reoccupy the position. Crater 1, which had been held throughout 
the fighting of the 19th, remained definitely in their hands. 

On May 28, 1916, General Alderson took over new duties and 
was succeeded by General Sir Julian Byng, commander of the 3d 
(British) Cavalry. 

When the storm broke on June 2, 1916, the struggle began 
southeast of Ypres, which lies in a depression, a ridge curving 
around southwest to Mount Sorrel. 

From ruined Hooge, beyond a mile of green water meadows, 
Zouave Wood is seen running up one of the greatest gaps in the 
ridge. This gap isolates Hooge from the system and through it 
the Germans could view the British trenches in the plain. To the 
south the slopes are covered by Sanctuary Wood and crowned by 
Hills 61 and 62, and beyond Mount Sorrel completing the fighting 
area. Between Sanctuary Wood and Mount Sorrel is a bare 
tongue of higher ground. Observatory Ridge, running due west 
into the British positions toward Zillebeke village. Such was the 
position ocupied by the Third Canadian Division on the first day 
of June, 1916, as viewed from the rear. They held the high 
ground, a plateau, and were determined to retain it. 

The First Canadian Division was on the right of the Third. 
The Second Division was farther south at St.-Eloi, and v/as not 
called on until later in the action. 

The left of the line was held by the Seventh Brigade under 
Brigadier General A. C. Macdonell and the right by the Eighth 
Brigade under Brigadier General Victor Williams. Two com- 


panies of the Royal Canadian Regiment under Lieutenant Colonel 
C. H. Hill were astride the Menin road on the far side of Hooge, 
their left sloping down through bombing posts to link with the 
British at Bellewaarde Beek, their right in touch with the Princess 
Patricias at the gap under Lieutenant Colonel Buller. In the 
southern section of Sanctuary Wood they met the 1st Canadian 
Mounted Rifles of the Eighth Brigade under Colonel Shaw hold- 
ing Hills 61 and 62. Next on the right was the 4th Mounted 
Canadian Rifles under Colonel Ussher holding Mount Sorrel, 
where the Second Brigade of the First Division continued the 

Back of the front line there was a support line left of the 
position. From the Menin road support line trenches extended 
southeast, held by the support company of the Princess Patricias 
and the Royal Canadian Regiment. Northeast of Maple Copse, 
and in the middle of Sanctuary Wood, the support line broke into 
two systems of trenches. A series of communication trenches 
broke abruptly back to Maple Copse and the southwest, forming 
an apex facing the enemy. From the apex the support line con- 
tinued back of the Canadian front-line trenches on Hill 62 and 
Mount Sorrel. Fortified posts back of these covered the ground 
between Zouave Wood and the southern slopes of Observatory 
Ridge. A second line known as G. H. Q. nearer Ypres was the 
last defense. 

The 5th Canadian Rifles support battalion under Lieutenant 
Colonel Baker held the fortified post on the north, the 4th Cana- 
dian Mounted Rifles the post on the south. The Princess 
Patricias held one fort. Maple Copse was occupied by a com- 
pany and a half of the 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles, the 42d 
Battalion of Royal Highlanders and the remaining company of 
the Royal Canadian Regiment. The 49th Edmonton Regiment 
under Lieutenant Colonel Griesbach was the reserve battalion of 
the Seventh Brigade, and the 2d Canadian Mounted Rifles of the 

The German offensive on June 2, 1916, was not unexpected, as 
for some days they had been driving "T*' saps in front of their 
lines and linking them together to form advance trenches. 


The German bombardment, which began about 8.30 a. m., sur- 
passed anything of its kind the Canadians had faced since land- 
ing on the continent. A tornado of fire and steel swept defenses 
away. The defenders were slain, or wounded, or buried under 
debris. The generals and their staffs were caught in the storm. 
One of the first shells wounded Brigadier General Williams, who 
was later made a prisoner by the Germans. General Mercer was 
last seen encouraging his men, and his fate was not known until 
ten days later when his body, with both legs broken, was found 
in one of the side trenches. This gallant soldier was buried at 
Poperinghe, where many other brave Canadian soldiers lie. 

The 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles were swept away by the 
storm of fire, but afterward it was learned that some parties had 
escaped. The garrison holding the last trench on the right 
reached the lines of the Second Brigade when night fell. 

The German advance was stubbornly resisted. Major Denni- 
son fought a rear-guard action and got back to the second line 
with five men. The fortified post held by the 4th Canadian 
Mounted Rifles was blown up. One garrison was wiped out, 
and only three men got away from the other post. Between 
thirty and forty men were rallied behind the support line. The 
casualties were 637. 

The 1st Canadian Mounted Rifles Battalion on their left had 
also met with disaster. Their trenches were obliterated. The 
survivors retired to the apex, and some on battalion headquarters. 

The German attack launched just after 1 o'clock was made 
in four successive lines from the southwest. Mount Sorrel was 
reached and the German left flank began clearing the way, when 
the center attacked the 1st Canadian Mounted Rifles. Colonel 
Shaw in his redoubt found his right flank exposed, and was at- 
tacked on all sides. The garrison fought hard. Colonel Shaw 
fell and with him Major Palmer and Lieutenant Rowles. At last 
all the officers but two and most of the noncommissioned oflficers 
were killed and wounded. Lieutenants Key and Evans led fifteen 
survivors back to a fortified post before the apex where, with the 
help of stragglers, they held out until relieved the next day. The 
total casualties of the regiment were 367. 

War St. 8— Wc 


The Princess Patricias had two companies in the firing line, 
one in a communication trench leading up to it, and a fourth in 
the support-line trenches. They were the next to withstand the 
German assault. The company on the right hand in the firing 
line was blown from the trenches. The survivors retired to the 
communication trenches held by the support company. The Ger- 
man wave engulfed all the left except the front-line company 
under Captain Niven, which turned and volleyed into the German 
rear. The company held ground for eighteen hours fighting hard 
and with excellent results. Their casualties were heavy, but the 
enemy too was hard hit. 

The Germans next attacked the Princess Patricias in the com- 
munication trenches, bombing their way along to the apex line 
then lightly held. Colonel Buller was killed while rallying the 
support platoons in the comimunication trench. A close and 
dreadful struggle ensued between Germans and Canadians in the 
communication trenches. The latter endeavored to build blocks 
down the communication trenches to hold the enemy from reach- 
ing the support line until it had been fully manned. The garri- 
son of each block perished while a new one farther on was being 
built. They kept off the enemy long enough, however, for the 
reserve company to come up and the vital position was saved. 
Had the support line gone, the Ypres salient would have gone 
with it. Colonel Buller saved the day by holding on until General 
Macdonell could bring up his reserve. 

Captain Niven meanwhile was clinging to the knoll of trenches 
in the front line to the northwest, threatened on all sides by the 
Germans. His right-hand platoon had been smashed by the 
bombardment and Lieutenant Haggerty was killed. Lieutenant 
Molson took over the command, but, being wounded, the section 
had to be abandoned. Lieutenants Triggs and Irwin, the latter 
the only remaining subaltern, were wounded later in the day. 
Captain Niven, though wounded, and the only officer remaining 
of his company, continued to command. All communication 
with the battalion was cut off, but some runners got through. 
At twilight Captain Niven gave up his command to Lieu- 
tenant Glascoe from headquarters, and after having his wound 


dressed returned to his company, only to be struck down by 
a bullet. 

Lieutenant Glascoe, seeing the surviving party would soon be 
surrounded, brought away the remnant to the support line in 
safety. Lieutenant C. P. Cotton of the First Divisional Artillery 
in command of the gun crews serving two 18-pounders continued 
to fire upon the enemy coming over Observatory Ridge until they 
were within a few yards of the gun pits. Lieutenant Cotton and 
the gun crews fought to the last. 

The attack spread to Hooge in the afternoon when the Royal 
Canadian Regiment repulsed two heavy attacks. But the Cana- 
dian position was still serious, for the Germans had smashed the 
front and support lines on the crest of the ridge and decimated 
the defenders. In strong force they now advanced on Observa- 
tory Ridge, into the heart of the Canadian position, and were also 
attacking farther north communication trenches leading to the 
support lines. The enemy had won the support trenches on 
Hill 62 and Mount Sorrel, and it was a matter of life and death 
for the Canadians to hold on to the support trenches to the apex 
and Maple Copse. The 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles offered a 
stout resistance, but their position and that of the Seventh 
Brigade was seriously imperiled, though General Macdonell was 
active pushing up reenforcements. Early in the afternoon the 
5th Mounted Rifles were nearly blown out of Maple Copse. 
The Germans got into the support line on the left, and the 
Princess Patricias bayoneted a large number in a hand-to-hand 

In the meantime the Second Canadian Infantry Brigade on the 
right was threatened by the enemy from the rear. They got as 
far as Armagh House, but were driven out by a patrol of the 5th 
Battalion. The 7th Battalion (British Columbia) was brought 
up to support the 5th Battalion. 

The 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles held fast in Maple Copse, 
but their brave commander, Colonel Baker, was slain. The Royal 
Canadian Regiment still hung on to its position on the left. The 
center and support trenches behind were intact, the Princess 
Patricias and the 42d still held fast. Lieutenant Evans clung to 


the fortified post in front, and the Germans could not shell the 
Mounted Rifles out of Maple Copse. To the south the 5th Bat- 
talion of the First Division were in Square Wood and the front 
line leading to Hill 60. 

The Canadians launched a counterattack at 7.10 a. m. on June 
3, 1916. Major Stewart, formerly of the U. S. A., leading the 
7th Battalion, was slain. The objective of the 7th, supported by 
the 10th, was to clear the enemy from the southern edge of 
Observatory Ridge and push on to Mount Sorrel. The attacks 
were vigorously pressed, but all broke down. 

To the north the 15th .Battalion attacked at 8.35 a. m. They 
were astride the ridge, but the ground in front offered no cover 
and they were forced to dig in just behind Rudkin House. 

The 14th Battalion (Royal Montreal Regiment) went forward 
an hour after the first attack took place, and linked up with the 
15th at Rudkin House. 

The 49th and 60th on the extreme left were to attack through 
Sanctuary Wood. The 52d and 60th were caught in barrages 
and most of their senior officers were killed, and failed to arrive 
at the time fixed for the assault. The 60th eventually reached the 
position assigned in the support trenches and held the line all day 
under a withering fire. 

The 49th in the apex and support line in Sanctuary Wood at- 
tacked at 7 a. m. Captain McNaughton and Lieutenant F. W. 
Scott and five other officers were killed, while eight officers were 
wounded. They advanced and established blocks in Sanctuary 
Wood, making the apex of the new front line comparatively safe 
from assault. By early evening of June 3, 1916, it was known 
that the counterattack had failed in its main objective. The 
Canadians had gained something by making good the line that 
ran continuously from the Menin road to Hill 60, and the danger 
that threatened on June 2, 1916, was now averted. But it was 
evident that the situation could not be left as it was and prepara- 
tions to strike again were made by the High Command, which led 
to the fight for Hooge. 

From the knoll of Hooge one can look down on Ypres, hence 
its importance. Advance trenches had been pushed to the east 


end of the village overlooking Bellewaarde Lake. On the left the 
ground slopes abruptly to Bellewaarde Beek, on the other side of 
which was the 60th Battalion. The line here was open to Ger- 
man attack from the higher ground. 

The 28th Battalion went forward in the night of June 5-6, 
1916, to relieve the Royal Canadian Regiment, an operation 
which was accomplished under heavy fire. At 7 a. m. on June 6, 
1916, the Germans began a bombardment that lasted for seven 
hours when the assault on Hooge began. They knew the impor- 
tance of Hooge, which must be captured if the new line was to be 
made complete and the Ypres salient broken. At 2 p. m. they 
exploded four mines under the Canadian front-line trenches. 
One company of the 28th perished and many of the remaining 
company were killed or wounded. Following the explosions the 
Germans occupied the trenches in Hooge and attacked the Sixtieth 
British Brigade opposite Bellewaarde Farm, but here they were 
repulsed. They next advanced down the Menin road. Captain 
Styles of the 28th had organized a defense in the support line and 
fortunately had numerous machine guns, and a number of enemy 
attacks were beaten off. About 4 p. m. the 31st in the support 
trenches were attacked and the enemy renewed their attempts 
in the evening through Zouave Wood. They lost heavily and 
gained nothing. But the Sixth Brigade had suffered, its casual- 
ties were 20 officers and 580 men. The village of Hooge was lost, 
and the road to Ypres lay open to the enemy. 

Preparations were now made by the Canadian High Command 
for a general assault on the night of June 12-13, 1916. The Ninth 
British Brigade took over the St.-Eloi sector, releasing the 
Second Division to occupy ground in the north, while the First 
Division prepared for the attack. General Lipsett commanded 
the 1st, 3d, 7th, and 8th Battalions for the right attack. General 
Tuxford took command of the 2d, 4th, 13th, and 16th, while 
General Hughes remained as divisional reserve with the 5th, 10th, 
14th, and 15th Battalions. 

In the night of June 12, 1916, the German trenches were bom- 
barded for four hours and at 1.30 a. m. the battalions advanced 
in three successive lines. All the battalions gained their objec- 


tives. The 16th reached Mount Sorrel on the right, the 16th 
Hill 62 in center, and the 13th the old lines to the north of 

During the night of the 12th German positions had been heavily- 
shelled and at 1.30 a. m. on the 13th, Lieutenant Colonel Allen led 
the 3d Toronto Battalion forward with the 1st in support, and 
captured the German first line. A fortified post in the enemy's 
hands was carried by assault, and the objective was won forty 
minutes after the action began. Colonel J. E. Leckie of the 16th 
Battalion (center attacked) had discovered an old trench 100 
yards nearer their objective and two lines were passed up to the 
unmarked trench unknown to the enemy. The Germans were 
hemmed in front and rear before they learned of the presence of 
the Canadians. The two supporting lines did not have the same 
good fortune, but suffered heavily from shell fire as they climbed 
the parapet. 

The second two waves of the 16th encountered strong re- 
sistance as they approached the German front line, and Captain 
Wood, an American army ofl^icer, was killed. The trench was 
taken and the defenders killed or made prisoners. A machine 
gun a short distance away, which gave the Canadians trouble, 
was silenced by Captain Bell-Irving, who dashed from the line 
and killed the gun crew. Line after line was carried. The 16th 
recaptured the heights, their old ground, and linked up with the 
3d Battalion. 

The 13th Battalion (Royal Highlanders of Canada) under 
Lieutenant Colonel Buchanan, after some bombing encounters, 
broke through to the north of Hill 62 and joined up with the 16th 
on the right. The 58th (Colonel Genet) had fought their way up 
the communication trenches, and the circle from left to right was 

The First Division, through error caused by the dim light, 
occupied a trench that was fifty yards from their objective. 
Bombing posts were established down the German communica- 
tion trenches, but the Germans did not attempt a counterattack. 
When the morning dawned at last, the Canadians were once more 
masters of the heights defending the Ypres salient. 


The Canadians broke into the great Battle of the Somme on 
September 4, 1916, when the First Division relieved the Aus- 
tralians before Pozieres and the men from overseas fought to- 
gether for thirty-six hours. On September 15, 1916, the Eleventh 
Division (British) held the front flank in front of Thiepval, but 
the Second and Third Canadian Divisions shared in the general 
advance, pushing their line forward over the Pozieres Ridge and 
down the slope to join the Fifteenth Scottish Division in Mar- 
tinpuich on the right. All Canada was represented in this 
achievement. The capture of Courcelette was largely the work 
of the 22d Battalion of the Fifth Brigade French Canadians of 
the Second Division. The Third Canadian Division during the 
Courcelette operation was working upon the left flank of the 
Second, as it attacked the village, protecting it from enfilade 
attack. The Canadians brought back 1,300 prisoners. 

This important victory was followed by a day of failure. The 
Third Division, still operating on the left of the Second, advanced 
to carry the Zollern Trench and Zollern Redoubt north of Cource- 
lette. The Seventh and Ninth Brigades were in the attacking 
line, but the Seventh was held up. The Ninth was halted by a 
barbed-wire entanglement. The 60th (Montreal) and the 52d 
(New Ontario) lost 800 men between them and the operation 
was suspended. 



DURING the early months of 1917 the Canadians, now form- 
ing a self-contained corps under the command of General 
Sir Julian Byng, continued on the front north of Arras where 
they soon were to win new glory in the Vimy-Lens sector. 
January, February, and March, 1917, saw no action of great 
importance, though many brilliant raids were carried out suc- 
cessfully by the various units of the Canadian corps. The 
chief work on hand at this time was careful training and 


preparation for the part the Canadians were to play in the 
Battle of Arras. 

To them had been assigned the sector facing* directly the 
menacing Vimy Ridge, a long, gradual slope with a maximum 
elevation of 450 feet. The four Canadian divisions were disposed 
in their numerical order with the First (Currie) on the right 
wing, in touch with the Fifty-first British Division, and the 
Fourth (Watson) on the left wing, in touch with the First Brit- 
ish Corps. The center was held by the Second and Third Cana- 
dian Divisions (Burstall and Lipsett). 

The infantry brigades were commanded by Brigadier Generals 
Garnet B. Hughes, C. M. G. ; W. St. P. Hughes, D. S. 0. ; F. O. 
Loomis, D. S. O. ; G. S. Tuxford, C. B., C. M. G. ; Robert Rennie, 

C, M. G., M. V. 0., D. S. 0. ; A. H. Macdonell, C. M. G., D. S. O. ; 
A. C. Macdonell, D. S. 0., C. M. G. ; H. D. B. Ketchen, C. M. G. ; 
J. H. Elmsley, D. S. 0. ; F. W. Hill, D. S. O. ; Victor W. Odium, 

D. S. 0., and J. H. MacBrien, D. S. O. 

At half past 5 on Easter Monday morning, April 9, 1917, the 
great attack was launched with terrible fire from massed artillery 
and from many field guns in hidden advance positions. The 
Canadian **heavies'^ bombarded the enemy positions on and 
beyond the ridge, and trenches, dugouts, emplacements, and 
roads, which for long had been kept in a continual state of dis- 
repair by the Canadian fire, were now smashed to uselessness. 
An intense barrage of shrapnel from field guns, strengthened by 
the indirect fire of hundreds of machine guns, was laid along the 

At the same moment the Canadian troops advanced in line, in 
three waves of attack. Flurries of snow drifted over the battle 
field as the Canadians left their jumping-off trenches behind the 
rolling barrage. The light was sufficient for maneuvering pur- 
poses and yet obscure enough to obstruct the range of vision and 
lessen the accuracy of fire of the German riflemen and machine- 

The troops on the extreme left made a start under conditions 
as favorable as those in the center and right, but they were soon 
confronted by a strong and constantly strengthening opposition. 


The advance of these troops was soon checked between the first 
and second lines of objectives by heavy fighting, which was more 
formidable against the center of the line than against the flanks. 

A dip in the ground caused a change of direction, which swung 
these troops off their central objectives. They reached their 
goals on the flanks, only to find themselves subjected to heavy, 
close-range fire of machine guns and rifles. To be enfiladec 
from the center and the north was bad enough, but to add to the 
situation, caves or a tunnel, in the hostile line over which we had 
already advanced, now disgorged Germans, who promptly re- 
occupied their old front and opened fire on the Canadian rear. 
The enemy at these points fought with unusual vigor and resolu- 

These troops on the extreme left fought all day, and by 10 
o'clock at night succeeded in disposing of the enemy in their 
rear and capturing the major portion of the enemy trenches in 
their center. *'The Pimple,'' in the north, still remained to the 
enemy, but by then snow was falling heavily and it was wisely 
decided to consolidate the hard-won gains and prepare for a 
counterattack rather than to undertake a further assault that 
night. "The "Pimple" would keep for the morrow. 

In the meantime the other troops fought forward to one line 
after another without serious check, but with many brisk en- 
counters and not without casualties. Most of these were the 
result of shrapnel fire, only a small percentage were fatal, and 
the majority of the wounds were of a minor character. 

On the German second line the troops drew breath and con- 
solidated their gains. The Canadian barrage was laid before 
them steady as a wall. Fresh troops came up and deployed into 
position. They waited for the barrage to lift at the ordained 
minute and lead them on. The enemy's artillery fire — their 
counterbarrage and bombardment of the Canadian gun posi- 
tions — was not strong as strength in such things was considered 
in those days. Prisoners were already hurrying to the rear in 
hundreds, pathetically and often ludicrously grateful to the 
fortunes of war that had saved them alive for capture. They 
surrendered promptly and willingly. 


The barrage lifted, and the two divisions on the right followed 
it forward to the German third line. Here again they paused for 
a time, then advanced again, behind the ever-ready and un- 
slackening barrage, for a distance of about 1,200 yards. This 
advance included the capture of several villages, Hill 140, a 
number of fortified woods, and several trenches and belts of wire. 
And still the enemy surrendered by hundreds and scuttled rear- 
ward to safety. Their resistance grew feebler, their hands more 
eager to relinquish their weapons and ascend high above their 
heads at each stage of the Canadian advance. 

At 10 o'clock snow fell heavily from black clouds sweeping 
low across the ridge. Half an hour later the snow ceased, the 
clouds thinned, and the sun shone fitfully over the shattered and 
clamorous battle field. Word was received at the advanced 
headquarters that the British division on the immediate right 
was enjoying a degree of success in its operations equal to the 
Canadian success. 

Events continued to develop with rapidity and precision. By 
1 o'clock in the afternoon every point in the enemy's third line 
of the Canadian objectives had been reached and secured. By 
this time the troops on the right had consolidated their gains and 
advanced strong patrols. From their new positions they com- 
manded a wide view of enemy territory to the eastward. They 
reported a massing of Germans on a road in the new field of 
vision, and heavy guns immediately dealt with the matter. By 
noon one of the battalions of a division had received and dealt 
drastically with three counterattacks. Its front remained un- 
shaken. Shortly after this the Canadian corps was able to state 
that the prisoners already to hand numbered 3 battalion com- 
manders, 15 other officers, and more than 2,000 noncommissioned 
oflficers and men — with plenty more in sight — making for the 
"cages" as fast as their legs would carry them. 

The final stage of the attack of the troops on the right was now 
made. They passed through the wide belts of enemy wire which 
fringed the plateau by way of wide gaps torn by our heavy ar- 
tillery at fixed intervals. So they issued on the eastern slopes 
of Vimy Ridge — the first Allied troops to look dowTi upon the 


level plain of Douai since the German occupation in 1914. They 
saw the villages of Farbus, Vimy, and Petit Vimy at their feet, 
and beyond these the hamlets of Willerval, Bailleul, Oppy, and 
Mericourt. They pressed on to Farbus Wood and Goulot Wood, 
and possessed themselves of several hostile batteries and much 

By an early hour of the afternoon all the Canadian objectives 
save those of the left of the attack had been gained and the task 
of consolidating and strengthening these gains was well in hand. 
Throughout the day the most courageous and devoted coopera- 
tion was rendered to the Canadian corps by a brigade and a 
squadron of the Royal Flying Corps. 

The night saw all of Vimy Ridge, with the exception of a few 
trenches on Hill 145, secure in Canadian hands. 

During the next two days the Canadians, greatly hampered by 
dreadful weather, consolidated their new positions. When this 
had been accomplished, operations were again resumed. 

Attacks were delivered simultaneously at 5 A. M. on April 12, 
1917, by English and Canadian troops against the two small hills 
known as ''The Pimple,'* and the Bois-en-Hache, situated on 
either side of the Souchez River. Both of these positions were 
captured, with a number of prisoners and machine guns. Steps 
were at once taken to consolidate these gains and patrols were 
pushed forward to maintain touch with the enemy. 

The results of this last success at once declared themselves. 
Prior to its accomplishment there had been many signs that the 
enemy was preparing to make strong counterattacks from the 
direction of Givenchy and Hirondelle Woods to recover the Vimy 
Ridge. The positions captured on April 12, 1917, commanded 
both these localities, and he was therefore compelled to abandon 
the undertaking. His attitude in this neighborhood forthwith 
ceased to be aggressive, and indications of an immediate with- 
drawal from the areas commanded by the Vimy Ridge multiplied 

The withdrawal commenced on the morning of April 13, 1917, 
Before noon on that day Canadian patrols had succeeded in oc- 
cupying the southern portion of Givenchy-en-Gohelle, had pushed 


through Petit Vimy, and had reached the crossroads 500 yards 
northeast of the village. That afternoon English patrols north 
of the Souchez River crossed no-man's-land and entered Angres, 
while Canadian troops completed the occupation of Givenchy-en- 
Gohelle and the German trench system east of it. Farther south 
other troops seized Petit Vimy and Vimy, and Willerval and 
Bailleul were occupied in turn. 

For the next two weeks these gains were maintained without 
any further attempt to extend them. 

In the meantime a great French offensive had been launched 
on the Aisne and in Champagne and, in order to assist their 
allies, the British had decided to resume their operations at 
Arras. The British Commander in Chief, Sir Douglas Haig, in 
his report describes the participation of the Canadians in these 
operations as follows: 

"The first of these attacks was delivered on the 28th of April, 
1917, on a front of about eight miles north of Monchy-le-Preux. 
With a view to economizing my troops, my objectives were shal- 
low, and for a like reason, and also in order to give the appear- 
ance of an attack on a more imposing scale, demonstrations were 
continued southward to the Arras-Cambrai road and northward 
to the Souchez River. 

"The assault was launched at 4.25 a. m. by British and Cana- 
dian troops and resulted in heavy fighting, which continued 
throughout the greater part of the 28th and 29th of April, 1917. 
The enemy delivered counterattack after counterattack with the 
greatest determination and most lavish expenditure of men. Our 
positions at Gavrelle alone were again attacked seven times with 
strong forces, and on each occasion the enemy was repulsed with 
great loss. 

"In spite of the enemy's desperate resistance, the village of 
Arleux-en-Gohelle was captured by Canadian troops after bitter 
hand-to-hand fighting, and English troops made further progi'ess 
in the neighborhood of Oppy, on Greenland Hill, and between 
Monchy-le-Preux and the Scarpe. In addition to these advances, 
another 1,000 German prisoners were taken by us in the course 
of the two days' fighting. 


"Five days later, at 3.45 a. m. on the 3d of May, 1917, another 
attack was undertaken by us of a similar nature to that of the 
28th of April, 1917, which in the character of the subsequent 
fighting it closely resembled. 

"In view of important operations which the French were to 
carry out on the 5th of May, 1917, I arranged for a considerable 
extension of my active front. While the Third and First Armies 
attacked from Fontaine-les-Croisilles to Fresnoy, the Fifth Army 
launched a second attack upon the Hindenburg line in the neigh- 
borhood of Bullecourt. This gave a total front of over sixteen 

"Along practically the whole of this front our troops broke 
into the enemy's positions. Australian troops carried the Hin- 
denburg line east of Bullecourt, Eastern county battalions took 
Cherisy. Other English troops entered Roeux and captured the 
German trenches south of Fresnoy. Canadian battalions found 
Fresnoy full of German troops assembled for a hostile attack, 
which was to have been delivered at a later hour. After hard 
lighting, in which the enemy lost heavily, the Canadians car- 
ried the village, thereby completing an unbroken series of 

"Later in the day, strong hostile counterattacks once more 
developed, accompanied by an intense bombardment with heavy 
guns. Fierce fighting lasted throughout the afternoon and far 
into the night, and our troops were obliged to withdraw from 
Roeux and Cherisy. They maintained their hold, however, on 
Fresnoy and the Hindenburg line east of Bullecourt, as well as 
upon certain trench elements west of Fontaine-les-Croisilles and 
south of the Scarpe. 

"Early in May, 1917, local attacks had been undertaken by 
Canadian troops in the neighborhood of the Souchez River, which 
formed the prelude to a long-sustained series of minor operations 
directed against the defense of Lens. Substantial progress was 
made in this area on June 5 and 19, 1917, and five days later 
North Midland troops captured an important position on the 
slopes of a small hill southwest of Lens, forcing the enemy to 
make a considerable withdrawal on both sides of the river. 


Canadian troops took La Coulotte on June 26, 1917, and by the 
morning of June 28, 1917, had reached the outskirts of Avion. 

"On the evening of June 28, 1917, a deliberate and carefully- 
thought-out scheme was put into operation by the First Army to 
give the enemy the impression that he was being attacked on 
a twelve-mile front from Gavrelle to Hulluch. 

"Elaborate demonstrations were made on the whole of this 
front, accompanied by discharges of gas, smoke and thermit, 
and a mock raid was successfully carried out southeast of Loos. 
At the same time real attacks were made, with complete success, 
by English troops on a front of 2,000 yards opposite Oppy, and 
by Canadian and North Midland troops on a front of two and a 
half miles astride the Souchez River. All objectives were gained, 
including Eleu dit Leauvette and the southern half of Avion^ 
with some 300 prisoners and a number of machine guns." 

In the meantime the commander of the Canadian corps. Gen- 
eral Sir Julian Byng, early in June, 1917, had been promoted to 
the command of one of the British armies. On June 19, 1917, 
Major General Sir Arthur Currie, who only a short time before 
had been knighted by King George on the battle field of Vimy, 
was gazetted as the new commander of the Canadian corps and 
in July was promoted to the rank of Major General. He was 
succeeded in the command of the first Canadian Division by 
Major General A. C. Macdonell. Sir Arthur Currie had a most 
distinguished career. Having joined the Canadian militia as 
early as 1895 as a private, he had gradually worked up his way 
to the command of the Fifth British Columbia Regiment of Gar- 
rison Artillery. In 1914 he was given command of a brigade 
for active service, and in 1915 was promoted to the command 
of the First Canadian Division, showing in all his commands 
exceptional military capacity. 

In the middle of August, 1917, the Canadians again became 
active in the Lens sector. A highly successful operation was 
carried out in the neighborhood of Lens, whereby the situation 
of the forces in that sector was greatly improved. At the same 
time the threat to Lens itself was rendered more immediate and 
more insistent and the enemy was prevented from concentrating 


the whole of his attention and resources upon the front of the 
British main offensive. 

At 4.25 a. m. on August 15, 1917, the Canadian corps attacked 
on a front of 4,000 yards southeast and east of Loos. The 
objectives consisted of the strongly fortified hill known as Hill 
70, which had been reached but not held in the battle of Loos on 
September 25, 1915, and also the mining suburbs of Cite Ste.- 
Elizabeth, Cite St.-Emile, and Cite St.-Laurent, together with 
the whole of Bois Rase and the western half of Bois Hugo. The 
observation from Hill 70 had been very useful to the enemy, and 
its possession materially increased the British command over 
the defenses of Lens. 

Practically the whole of these objectives was gained rapidly 
at light cost and in exact accordance with plan. Only at the 
farthest apex of the advance a short length of German trench 
west of Cite St.-Auguste resisted the first assault. This position 
was again attacked on the afternoon of the following day and 
captured after a fierce struggle lasting far into the night. 

A number of local counterattacks on the morning of August 
15, 1917, were repulsed, and in the evening a powerful attack 
delivered across the open by a German reserve division was 
broken up with heavy loss. In addition to the enemy's other 
casualties, 1,120 prisoners from three German divisions were 
captured by the Canadians. 

Then came a period of well-deserved rest, not lacking, of course, 
in plenty of drill and training for the battle-weary Canadians. 
On October 23, 1917, the corps began its move to the north to 
participate in the Battle of Passchendaele. Before long the 
Canadians were again in the thick of the fighting. 

At an early hour on the morning of October 26, 1917, in spite 
of heavy rain, English and Canadian troops attacked on a front 
extending from the Ypres-Roulers railway to beyond Poelcap- 

The Canadians attacked on the right on both sides of the small 
stream known as the Ravebeek, which flows southwestward from 
Passchendaele. On the left bank of the stream they advanced 
astride the main ridge and established themselves securely on 


the small hill south of Passchendaele. North of the Ravebeek 
strong resistance was met on the Bellevue Spur, a very strong 
point, which had resisted all efforts in previous attacks. With 
splendid determination the Canadians renewed their attack on 
this point in the afternoon and captured it. Two strong counter- 
attacks south and west of Passchendaele were beaten off, and by 
nightfall the Canadians had gained practically the whole of their 

At this time the need for the policy of activity adopted by the 
British had been still further emphasized by recent developments 
in Italy. Additional importance was given to it by the increas- 
ing probability that a time was approaching- when the enemy's 
power of drawing reenforcements from Russia would increase 
considerably. In pursuance of this policy, therefore, two short 
advances were made on the 30th of October and the 6th of 
November, 1917, by which possession of Passchendaele was 

In the first operation Canadian and English troops attacked 
at 5 :50 a. m. on a front extending from the Ypres-Roulers rail- 
way to the Poelcappelle-Westroosebeke road. 

On the right the Canadians continued their advance along the 
high ground and reached the outskirts of Passchendaele, captur- 
ing an important position at Crest Farm on a small hill south- 
west of the village. Fighting was severe at all points, but 
particularly on the spur west of Passchendaele. Here no less 
than five strong counterattacks were beaten off in the course of 
the day, the Canadians being greatly assisted by the fire of 
captured German machine guns in Crest Farm. 

During the succeeding days small advances were made by 
night southwest of Passchendaele, and a hostile attack on both 
sides of the Ypres-Roulers railway was successfully repulsed. 

At 6 a. m. on the 6th of November, 1917, Canadian troops re- 
newed their attack and captured the village of Passchendaele, to- 
gether with the high ground immediately in the north and north- 
west. Sharp fighting took place for the possession of "pill boxes" 
in the northern end of the village, around Mosselmarkt, and on 
the Goudberg Spur. All objectives were gained at an early 



hour, and at 8.50 a. m. a hostile counterattack north of Passchen- 
daele was beaten off. 

Over 400 prisoners were captured in this most successful at- 
tack, by which, for the second time within the year, Canadian 
troops achieved a record of uninterrupted success. Four days 
later, in extremely unfavorable weather, British and Canadian 
troops attacked northward from Passchendaele and Goudberg, 
and captured further ground on the main ridge after heavy 



DURING the last year of the war in France and Belgium there 
were about 160,000 Canadians at the front, including an 
army corps of four infantry divisions of 80,000 men under com- 
mand of Sir Arthur Currie; a cavalry brigade, 3,000 strong, 
under General Seely, and, after the middle of the year, Brigadier 
General R. W. Paterson, D. S. C; numerous and effectively 
organized lines of communication units, railway, forestry, 
engineer, medical, ambulance, sanitary, veterinary, dental, 
salvage, and other services. The divisional commanders of the 
infantry were as follows: Major General Sir A. C. Macdonell, 
K. C. B., C. M. G., D. S. 0., First Division ; Major General Sir 
H. E. Burstall, K. C. B., C. M. G., Second Division ; Major Gen- 
eral F. 0. Loomis, C. B., C. M. G., D. S. 0., Third Division; 
Major General Sir David Watson, K. C. B., C. M. G., Fourth 
Division. Headquarters officials included Brigadier General 
R. J. L. Hayter, C. M. G., D. S. 0.; Brigadier General G. J. 
Farmer, and Major General W. B. Lindsay, C. M. G., D. S. O. ; 
the artillery commander was Major General E. W. B. Morrison, 

C. B., C. M. G., D. S. 0., and his five divisional corps commanders 
were Brigadier Generals H. C. Thacker, C. M. G., D. S. 0. ; 
H. A. Panet, C. B., C. M. G., D. S. O. ; J. S. Stewart, G. M. G., 

D. S. 0.; W. B. M. King, C. M. G., D. S. O.; W. O. H. Dodds, 

War St. 8— Xc 


C. M. G. ; the Machine-Gun Corps was commanded by Brigadier 
General R. Brutinel, C. M. G., D. S. 0., and the Canadian repre- 
sentative at General Headquarters was Brigadier General J. F. 
L. Embury, C. M. G., D. S. 0. ; the Railway Troops were led by 
Brigadier General J. W. Stewart, C. B., C. M. G., and the Army 
Medical Services by Brigadier General A. T. Ross, C. B., C. M. G. ; 
the Siberian Expeditionary Force was commanded by Major 
General J. H. Elmsley, C. B., C. M. G., and Brigadier General 
H. C. Bickford, C. M. G. The Infantry Brigade commanders in 
France and Flanders were as follows : Brigadier General W. A. 
Griesbach, C. M. G., D. S. 0. ; Brigadier General G. S. Tuxford, 

C. B., C. M. G. ; Brigadier General George F. McCuaig, C. M. G., 

D. S. O. ; Brigadier General T. L. Tremblay, C. M. G., D. S. O. ; 
Brigadier General Alex. Ross, C. M. G., D. S. O.; Brigadier 
General J. A. Clark, D. S. O. ; Brigadier General D. C. Draper, 

C. M. G., D. S. 0. ; Brigadier General D. M. Ormond, C. M. G., 

D. S. 0.; Brigadier General J. M. Ross, C. M. G., D. S. 0.; 
Brigadier General Victor W. Odium, C. B., C. M. G., D. S. 0. ; 
Brigadier General J. H. MacBrien, C. B., C. M. G., D. S. 0. 

After the Battle of Passchendaele the Canadian Corps was 
assigned to a part of the front where it had won immortal glory 
early in 1917 — ^the Vimy sector. From January 1 to March 21, 
1918, the corps held a front of some 13,000 yards from Hill 70 to 
Acheville, slightly east of a line drawn between Loos and Vimy. 

This front was divided into five sections: Hill 70, St.-Emile, 
Lens, Avion, and Mericourt. The corps now settled down to the 
routine of trench warfare. Lieutenant General Sir A. W. Currie, 
of course, was in command. His dispositions provided that three 
of the divisions held the line while one was resting and training 
in reserve. Each of the divisions had approximately one month 
out of the line. This arrangement allowed the divisions to absorb 
more quickly the fresh drafts and to train rapidly the new 
officers and N. C. 0*s. 

The Canadians were no strangers to this sector. Having 
wrested it from the enemy in April, 1917, in the Battle of Vimy 
and subsequent actions, they had held it practically ever since, 
except for the short interval late in 1917 when they fought the 


Battle of Passchendaele. It had been considerably improved by 
comprehensive defenses and complete systems of trench railways, 
roads, and water supply were in operation. 

The great importance of this particular sector arose from the 
fact that behind Vimy Ridge lay the northern collieries of France 
and certain tactical features which covered the British lateral 
communication. "Here," as the British Commander in Chief 
said in one of his reports, "little or no ground could be given up." 

A comparatively shallow advance beyond the Vimy Ridge 
would have stopped the operation of the collieries, paralyzing the 
production of war material in France, as well as inflicting very 
severe hardships on the already sorely tried population. In 
conjunction with the shortage of shipping, which practically for- 
bade an increase in the importation of coal from England, the 
loss of the northern collieries might have definitely crippled 
France. On the other hand, a deep penetration at that point, 
by bringing the Amiens-Bethune railway and main road under 
fire, would have placed the British army in a critical position, by 
threatening to cut it in two and by depriving it of vital lateral 

The tactical and strategical results to be gained by a moderate 
success at that point were so far-reaching in effect that, not- 
withstanding the natural difficulties confronting an attack on 
that sector, it was fully expected that the German offensive 
would be directed against this the central part of the British 

With the prospect of a German offensive now confronting the 
Canadians, it was decided that the defenses should be revised, to 
take advantage of the lessons recently learned and to embody 
the latest methods. Moreover, instructions had been issued by 
the First Army defining the policy of defense to be adopted and 
the methods to be followed. 

The completion of the revised corps defenses and the execu- 
tion of the new army program resulted in the organization of a 
very deep defended area, consisting of successive defensive 
systems, roughly parallel to the general line of the front and 
linked together by switch lines sited to protect both flanks. 


As planned, the main framework of the defense in depth was 
based upon machine-gun positions, protected by belts of wire 
entanglements so placed, in relation to the field of fire of the 
machine guns, that they were enfiladed over their entire length. 
The whole area was compartmented in such a way that the loss 
of ground at any one point could be localized, and would not cause 
a forced retirement from adjoining areas. 

Machine-gun emplacements of the Champagne type were con- 
structed, and dugout accommodation for the machine-gun detach- 
ments was provided in the deep tunnels of these emplacements. 

This framework was completed as rapidly as possible by 
trenches and by defended localities organized for all-round 

A great many dugouts were made to accommodate the garrisons 
of these localities, and for dressing stations and battle head- 
quarters. Advantage was taken of the possibility of utilizing 
the subways tunneled in 1916-17 for the attack on Vimy Ridge, 
and in addition steps were taken to create an obstacle on the 
southern flank of Vimy Ridge by the construction of dams to 
enable the valley of the Scarpe to be flooded as required. Trial 
inundations were made to insure the smooth working of these 

A great deal of care was given to the distribution of the artil- 
lery in relation to the policy of defense. Three systems of battery 
positions were built so as to distribute the guns in depth and sited 
so as to cover the ground to the northeast, east, and south, in 
case the flanks of the corps should be turned. These batteries 
were protected with barbed-wire entanglements and machine-gun 
positions against a sudden penetration of the enemy, and they 
were designed to become the natural rallying points of infantry 
in this eventuality. 

Successive lines of retirement were also prepared, battery 
positions were selected, organized, and marked, cross-country 
tracks were opened up, and observation posts, echeloned in depth, 
were located and wired in. 

On Vimy Ridge alone seventy-two new battery positions were 
built and stacked with ammunition ; these positions could be used 


either for the distribution of the corps artillery in depth, or as 
positions which reenforcing artillery could immediately take up 
in the event of a heavy attack. 

The weather being much finer during the months of January, 
February, and March, 1918, than is generally the case, very good 
progress was made, and the following defensive works were 
completed in rear of the main front-line defensive system : 

250 miles of trench; 

300 miles of barbed- wire entanglements; 

200 tunneled machine-gun emplacements. 

In addition to the above, existing trench systems, dugouts, 
gun positions, and machine-gun emplacements were strengthened 
and repaired. Each trench system was plentifully marked with 
signboards and many open machine-gun positions were sited and 

Machine-gun positions, defended localities, and certain portions 
of trenches were stored with several days* supply of ammunition, 
food, and water for the use of the garrisons. 

The front held remained comparatively quiet during January, 
1918, and, except for minor patrolling encounters and occasional 
shoots, nothing beyond the usual activity ever prevailing on a 
front held by this corps occurred. 

In the months of February and March, 1918, little or no work 
was being done by the enemy on his actual defenses, but roads 
and disused trench railways were being repaired. In the rear 
areas his ammunition and engineer supply dumps were increas- 
ing in number and in size, while fresh battery positions were ap- 
pearing almost daily. Furthermore, hostile aircraft and anti- 
aircraft guns were very active in preventing reconnoissance by 
British aeroplanes. 

Early in March, 1918, it was considered that the enemy's front 
was ready for offensive operations. No concentration of troops 
had been observed, but the numerous towns and villages in close 
proximity to the front provided extensive accommodation and 
made it possible for him to conceal such concentrations. Condi- 
tions so favorable to the Germans required relentless vigilance 
on the part of the Corps Intelligence Organization, as the Cana- 


dians were dependent on the efficiency of this branch of the 
service for timely warning against surprise attacks. 

In addition to the preparation above mentioned the enemy 
assumed early in February, 1918, a very aggressive attitude, raid- 
ing the Canadian lines very frequently, using for the purpose 
specially trained storm troops. His destructive shoots and intense 
gas shelling were also of frequent occurrence. To quell this 
activity, numerous counter-raids, retaliation shoots, and gas 
projections were carried out, and especially in the Lens sector 
soon had the desired effect. 

Prisoners captured in Canadian raids stated that all their 
divisions had been brought up to strength and were undergoing 
hard training in the tactics of semiopen warfare. They stated, 
or left it to be understood, that the forthcoming German attacks 
were based on a very deep initial penetration and the rapid 
exploitation of success. No indications were given as to the 
points at which attacks would be launched, but they stated that 
every one of their sectors was prepared and practically ready. 
It was also definitely established that the enemy reserve divisions 
were kept near railways, ready to be moved quickly to the parts 
of the front selected for the coming drive. 



ON March 21, 1918, the Germans launched a violent attack 
against the Fifth and Third British Armies. The battle 
resulting from this attack, known as the Battle of Amiens, did 
not involve directly the majority of the Canadian Corps. The 
latter on that date was disposed as follows: Third Canadian 
Division (Major General L. J. Lipsett), in the line, Mericourt- 
Avion sections; Fourth Canadian Division (Major General Sir 
D. Watson), in the line, Lens-St.-Emile sections; First Canadian 
Division (Major General Sir A. C. Macdonell), in the line. Hill 


70 section; Second Canadian Division (Major General Sir H. E. 
Burstall), resting, Auchel area. 

In the afternoon orders were received to take over the front 
of the Sixty-second Division (Thirteenth Corps) in the Acheville 
sector. The Second Canadian Division, then in reserve, was at 
first chosen to execute this order. But when, somewhat later, 
the Canadian Corps was instructed to keep one complete division 
in reserve, this order was canceled, and instead the Third Cana- 
dian Division was ordered to execute its frontage by relieving 
the Sixty-second Division in the Acheville-Arleux sector, making 
the total Canadian front 17,000 yards. 

In the evening of March 22, 1918, the Hill 70 sector, then held 
by the First Canadian Division, was taken over by the Fourth, 
extending the latter's frontage, while the former was placed in 

Late that night General Headquarters ordered the with- 
drawal of the First Canadian Motor Machine-Gun Brigade 
(Lieutenant Colonel W. K. Walker) from the Vimy sector. This 
unit, the next morning, moved south to the support of the Fifth 
Army, and by midnight of March 23, 1918, having traveled over 
100 miles during the day, all batteries were in action on a thirty- 
five-mile front east of Amiens. 

Under orders of the Fifth and later of the Fourth Army, it 
was ordered to fight a rear-guard action to delay the advance of 
the enemy and to fill dangerous gaps on the army fronts. For 
nineteen days this unit was continuously in action north and south 
of the Somme, fighting against overwhelming odds. Using to 
the utmost its great mobility, it fought over 200 square miles of 
territory. It is difficult to appraise in its correct extent the 
influence — ^material and moral — ^that the forty machine guns of 
this unit had in the events which were then taking place. The 
losses suffered amounted to about 75 per cent of the trench 
strength of the unit, and to keep it in being throughout that 
fighting, reenforcements by personnel of the infantry branch of 
the Canadian Machine-Gun Corps were authorized. 

On the 23d, at 10.50 a. m., the Second Canadian Division was 
ordered to concentrate at once west of Arras in the Mont St.-Eloi 


area, and having carried this out, passed into General Head- 
quarters reserve. 

The First Canadian Division was moved by busses to Couturelle 
area, embussing at about midnight, March 27, 1918. At dawn, 
March 28, 1918, the enemy struck heavily astride the river 
Scarpe, and the First Canadian Division was ordered at 10.30 
a. m. to retain the busses by which they had moved south and to 
move back to the Arras-Bainville area at once, coming there 
under orders of the Seventeenth Corps. 

This move was very difficult, because some busses had already 
been sent back to the Park, many units were still en route to the 
Couturelle area, and the mounted units and transport were in 
column on the road Hauteville-Saulty-Couturelle. The division, 
however, extricated itself, and on the night of the 28th, under 
orders of the Seventeenth Corps, placed two battalions in the 
forward area in support of the Forty-sixth Infantry Brigade, 
Fifteenth Division. At daybreak on the 29th the Third Canadian 
Infantry Brigade moved to support the Fifteenth Division, and 
during the night of the 29th and 30th the First Canadian Brigade 
relieved the Forty-sixth Infantry Brigade in the Telegraph Hill 
sector, that brigade front being transferred from the Fifteenth 
Division to the First Canadian Division on March 30, 1918. 

The Second Canadian Division passed under orders of the 
Sixth Corps on March 28, 1918, and moved forward in support 
of the Third British Division in the Neuville-Vitasse sector. On 
the night of March 29-30, 1918, it relieved the Third British 
Division in the line, and on the night of March 31-April 1, 1918, 
extended its front southward by relieving the left battalion of 
the Guards Division. 

The front held by the Second Canadian Division extended from 
south of the Cojeul River, east of Boisleux St.-Marc, to the south- 
ern slopes of Telegraph Hill (where it joined with the First 
Canadian Division), a total length of about 6,000 yards. The 
Second Canadian Division held this front for an uninterrupted 
period of ninety-two days, during which time it repulsed a series 
of local attacks and carried out no less than 27 raids, capturing 
3 officers, 101 other ranks, 22 machine guns, 2 trench mortars. 


and inflicting severe casualties on the enemy. The aggressive 
attitude adopted by this division at such a critical time and under 
adverse conditions had a most excellent effect and it certainly 
reduced to the lowest point the fighting value of two German 
divisions, namely, the Twenty-sixth Reserve Division and the 
One Hundred and Eighty-fifth Division. The Second Canadian 
Division returned under the orders of the Canadian corps on 
July 1, 1918. 

The Third Canadian Division had been attached on March 27, 
1918, to the Thirteenth Corps. Thus, under pressure of circum- 
stances, the unity of command of the Canadian divisions had 
been destroyed. They were now attached to two different armies 
(First and Third) and under command of three different corps 
(Sixth, Seventeenth, and Thirteenth). 

On March 28, 1918, the Germans launched a very heavy attack 
in the Arras sector from Gavrelle to Puisieux. The Third, 
Fifteenth, Fourth, and Fifty-sixth British Divisions successfully 
repulsed this offensive. 

The attack was renewed in the afternoon, north of the Scarpe, 
on the front of the Fifty-sixth Division, but did not there meet 
v/ith greater success. A certain amount of ground had, how- 
ever, been captured by the enemy. 

The renewed attack on the Fifty-sixth Division had consider- 
ably lowered its power of resistance. German prisoners captured 
in the morning were insistent that the attack would be renewed 
again on the 29th, by storm troops which had been held in re- 
serve for the purpose of capturing the Vimy Ridge by attacking 
it from the south. It was most urgent that the Fifty-sixth 
Division should be supported without delay. 

On March 28, 1918, the Fourth Canadian Division, then 
holding the Lens-St.-Emile-Hill 70 sector, was relieved by 
the Forty-sixth British Division, First Corps, and in turn 
relieved the Fifty-sixth British Division in the Oppy-Gavrelle 

On the completion of this relief the Canadian Corps was to 
relieve the Thirteenth Corps, and General Sir Currie agiain 
assumed command of the Third and Fourth Canadian Divisions. 


In the meantime all the battalions which the Fourth Canadian 
Divisions could spare were to be sent at once by the quickest way 
to the support of the Fifty-sixth Division. 

The Fourth Canadian Division, therefore, immediately organ- 
ized a Composite Brigade, under Brigadier General V. W. Odium, 
consisting of the three reserve battalions of the Tenth, Eleventh, 
and Twelfth Brigades, and the support battalions of the Eleventh 
and Twelfth Brigades. This Composite Brigade was moved in 
haste by light railway and lorry to the vicinity of Mont St.-Eloi, 
from whence it marched into reserve positions during daylight 
on the 28th. 

On the night of the 28th-29th the units of the Fifty-sixth 
Division which had been most heavily engaged were relieved by 
these five Canadian battalions, which came under orders of the 
Third Canadian Division. 

It was not until about 10.00 p. m., on the night of the 28th-29th, 
that the leading troops of the Forty-sixth Division arrived and 
began to relieve the Fourth Canadian Division. 

In view of the seriousness of the situation, units of the 
Fourth Canadian Division were moved, as the relief progressed, 
by lorry and light railway to Neuville St.-Vaast, and marched 
quickly into the line to relieve the elements of the Fifty-sixth 

The situation of the Canadian divisions at noon, March 30, 
1918, after some other readjustments had been carried into effect, 
was as follows: 

Third Army. Under Sixth Corps — Second Canadian Division : 
Neuville- Vitasse sector. Under Seventeenth Corps — First Cana- 
dian Division: Telegraph Hill sector. 

First Army. Under Canadian Corps — Third Canadian Divi- 
sion: Acheville-Mericourt- Avion sector. Under Canadian Corps 
?— -Fourth Canadian Division: Gavrelle-Oppy sector. 

On April 7, 1918, the First Canadian Division relieved the 
Fourth British Division astride the Scarpe and came under orders 
of Canadian Corps; the army boundaries being altered so as to 
include the sector taken over by the First Canadian Division in 
the First Army front. 


In the meantime, on the night of March 28th-29th, 1918, owing 
to operations astride the river Scarpe, the front-line system had 
been abandoned under orders of the Thirteenth Corps and the 
troops withdrawn to the Blue line in front of the Bailleul-Willer- 
val-Chaudiere-Hirondelle line, as far north as the Mericourt 

This Blue line was originally sited and constructed as an inter- 
mediate position, and consisted in most parts of a single trench 
none too plentifully supplied with dugouts. This meant that 
until a support line was dug and made continuous the troops 
had to be kept in strength in the front line, subject to heavy 
casualties from hostile shelling and to probable annihilation in 
case of an organized attack. 

Any advance beyond the Blue line on the Fourth Canadian 
Division front would have brought the Germans within assault- 
ing distance of the weakest part of the Vimy Ridge, and the 
severity of the shelling seemed to indicate that a renewal of 
their attacks was probable. 

Every effort was made to give more depth to the new front- 
line system by pushing forward a line of outposts and by digging 
a continuous support line, as well as by constructing reserve lines 
at certain points of greater tactical importance. Switch lines 
facing south were also sited and dug or improved. 

To increase the depth of the defenses, machine-gun detach- 
ments were extemporized by borrowing men from the machine- 
gun battalions, who had then completed their organization on 
an eight-battery basis. Some fifty extra machine guns were 
secured from ordnance and other sources, and also a number of 
extra Lewis guns. 

Personnel from the Canadian Light Horse and the Canadian 
Corps Cyclist Battalion were organized in Lewis and Hotchkiss 
gun detachments and sent forward to man the defenses in Vimy 
and Willerval localities, under orders of the Third and Fourth 
Canadian Divisions. 

The machine-gun companies of the Fifth Canadian Division 
had arrived in France on March 25, 1918, and in view of the 
extreme urgency of the situation the personnel and armament 


had been moved by lorries, sent specially by Canadian Corps, 
from Le Havre to Verdrel, where they were in corps reserve. 

Their horse transport having now arrived, these machine-gun 
companies (Seventeenth, Eighteenth, and Ninteenth) were 
moved to the Vimy Ridge and allotted definite positions of defense 
on March 30, 1918. 

The front held by the Canadian Corps on April 8, 1918, was 
approximately 16,000 yards in length. It will be remembered 
that the Second Canadian Division under the Sixth Corps (Third 
Army) was holding 6,000 yards of front, making a total of 22,000 
yards of front held by Canadian troops. 

On April 9, 1918, the Germans attacked on the Lys front be- 
tween La Bassee and Armentieres. Making rapid progress, they 
crossed the Lys River on the 10th, and on the following days 
advanced west of Merville-Bailleul. They were well held at 
Givenchy by the Fifty-fifth Division and their attack made no 
progress southward. 

The Canadian Corps was not involved in this fighting, but it 
now found itself in a deep salient, following with anxiety the 
development of the Battle of the Lys. 

The Battle of the Lys added a new burden to the already sorely 
tried British Army, and it was imperative that troops should at 
once be made available to stop the German advance. 

On the 10th, the Canadian front was extended by taking over 
from the First Corps the line held by the Forty-sixth Division 
(Lens-St.-Emile-Hill 70 sector). This relief was commenced on 
April 11, 1918, and completed on the night of the 12th-13th by 
the Third Canadian Division; concurrently with it, the inter- 
divisional boundaries were readjusted and the artillery re- 
distributed to meet as well as possible the new conditions. 

The front held by the three divisions then in the Canadian 
Corps had a length of approximately 29,000 yards, and of 
necessity the line was held very thinly and without muchL 

To deceive the enemy regarding their dispositions and inten- 
tions, the Canadians adopted a very aggressive attitude. The 
artillery constantly harassed the enemy's forward and rear areaa 


and the infantry penetrated his line at many points with strong 
fighting patrols and bold raiding parties. Gas was also projected 
on numerous occasions. This activity on the immediate flank 
of the Lys salient greatly perturbed the enemy, who gave many 
indications of nervous uncertainty. 

The situation was critical, and extensive steps were taken at 
once to increase the ability of the Canadian Corps to withstand 
hostile attacks. 

The success of the German offensive emphasized the need of 
greater depth for defensive dispositions, which depend very 
largely on the stopping power of the machine gun. Unfortunately 
the number of machine guns with a division was inadequate to 
give the required depth of defense on a front exceeding 4,000 
yards in length. Each Canadian division was now holding a 
front approximately 10,000 yards in length, and the extemporized 
machine-gun detachments formed previously, added to the ma- 
chine-gun companies of the Fifth Canadian Division, were far 
from sufficient for the task. 

General Sir Currie therefore decided to add a third company 
of four batteries to each battalion of the Canadian Machine-Gun 
Corps, thus bringing up to ninety-six the number of machine guns 
in each Canadian division. This entailed an increase in per- 
sonnel of approximately 50 per cent of the strength of each 
machine-gun battalion. 

These companies were formed provisionally on April 12, 1918, 
by withdrawing fifty men from each infantry battalion. Of 
these men a portion was sent to the Machine-Gun Battalion to be 
combined with the trained personnel, so that each machine-gun 
crew would include at least four trained gunners. The remainder 
of the infantry personnel withdrawn as above stated was sent to 
a special machine-gun depot formed for the purpose, and there 
underwent an abridged but intensive course of training. Thus 
an immediate supply of reenforcements was insured. Twenty- 
three-ton lorries had been borrowed from General Headquarters 
to supply a modicum of transport to the new units, and on April 
13, 1918, some of the new machine-gun batteries were already in 
the line at critical points. 


Sufficient troops were not now available to garrison the local 
defenses of Vimy Ridge, or to reenforce parts of the front if the 
enemy was successful in effecting a deep penetration. 

Two special brigades were therefore organized: 

The Hughes Brigade — Commanded by Lieutenant Colonel H. 
T. Hughes. Approximate strength, officers, 184; other ranks, 

McPhairs Brigade — Commanded by Lieutenant Colonel A. Mc- 
Phail. Approximate strength, officers, 148; other ranks, 4,628. 

Two companies of the Eleventh Tank Battalion (twenty-four 
tanks) were placed at the disposal of the Canadian Corps on 
April 13, 1918. These tanks had officers, drivers, and armament, 
but no other personnel. A sufficient number of trained Lewis 
gunners were found from the First, Third, and Fourth Canadian 
Divisional wings and the Canadian Field Artillery supplied the 
required number of gunners. 

The tanks were then distributed at the critical points in the 
corps area, namely: Behind the St. Catherine switch at inter- 
vals of about 300 yards, facing south — 18 tanks. In the gap be- 
tween the Souchez River and Bois-en-Hache, facing east — three 
tanks. On the ridge line behind Angres, facing east — three 

It was intended that these tanks should form points of resist- 
ance to check any forward flow of hostile forces and so give time 
to the Canadian infantry to re-form in case they should be forced 
back. In any event the tanks were to remain in action for twelve 
hours after coming in contact with the enemy and thus gain the 
time so essential in a crisis. 

The First Canadian Motor Machine-Gun Brigade, now re- 
turned from the Amiens Battle, was held as a mobile reserve at 
one hour's notice. Bridges, railways, roads, and pumping stations 
were prepared for demolition, to be blown up as a last resort. 

Extended almost to the breaking point, in danger of being an- 
nihilated by overwhelming attacks, the corps confidently awaited 
the assault. All ranks of the corps were unanimous in their 
ardent resolve to hold to the last every inch of the ground in- 
trusted to their keeping. 


It was for them a matter of great pride that their front was 
substantially the only part of the British line which had not 
budged, and one and all felt that it could not budge so long as 
they were alive. 

Eventually, the First, Third, and Fourth Canadian Divisions 
were relieved in their sectors by the Fifteenth, Fifty-first, Fifty- 
pecond. Twentieth, and Twenty-fourth British Divisions. The 
relief started on May 1 and was completed on May 7, 1918. 

As the relief progressed, the Canadian Corps handed over 
command of the Avion-Lens-St.-Emile-Hill 70 sectors to the 
Eighteenth Corps and the balance of the front to the Seventeenth 

The length of front held by the Canadian Corps at the various 
stages of the German offensive has been given previously, but it 
is here recalled that from April 10, 1918, until relieved the corps 
held a line exceeding 29,000 yards in length ; the Second Canadian 
Division, then with the Sixth Corps, was holding 6,000 yards of 
front, making a total length of 35,000 yards of front held by the 
four Canadian divisions. The total length of the line held by the 
British army between the Oise and the sea was approximately 
100 miles, therefore the Canadian troops were holding approx- 
imately one-fifth of the total front. 

Thus, although the Canadian Corps did not, during this 
period, have to repulse any German attacks on its front, it 
nevertheless played a part worthy of its strength during that 

On completion of the relief on May 7, 1918, with the exception 
of the Second Canadian Division, which was still in the line in 
the Third Army area, the Canadian Corps was placed in the 
General Headquarters reserve in the First Army area (Arras 
sector) , and disposed as follows : 

Headquarters — Femes, and later Bryas. First Canadian 
Division — Le Cauroy area. Third Canadian Division — St. Hilaire 
area. Fourth Canadian Division — Monchy-Breton area. 

One infantry brigade and one machine-gun company from 
each Canadian division were billeted well forward in support of 
the corps in the line as follows : 


(a) One infantry brigade, one machine-gun company — Anzin 
area. Support, Seventeenth Corps. 

(b) One infantry brigade, one machine-gun company—. 
Chateau de la Haie area. Support, Eighteenth Corps. 

(c) One infantry brigade, one machine-gun company — Ham 
en Artois area. Support, Eleventh Corps. 

These brigades were kept under one hour's notice from 5.00 
a. m. to 7.00 a. m. daily and under four hours' notice during the 
remainder of the day. The remainder of the Canadian Corps 
was under four hours' notice. 

Reconnoissances of the front which the corps would have to 
support in case of an attack were ordered and carried out by staff 
and regimental officers. The brigades billeted forward were 
relieved from time to time under divisional arrangements. 

On May 23, 1918, the Seventy-fourth British Division, newly 
arrived in France from Palestine, came under Canadian Corps 
for administration and training. It was necessary to rearrange 
the areas among the divisions in the corps to make room for the 
Seventy-fourth Division and to equalize the training facili- 
ties. With the exception of these moves, the disposition of 
the Canadian Corps remained substantially the same until 
June 25, 1918. 

On that date the Second Canadian Division, which had been iri 
the line since March 30, 1918, was relieved by the Third Cana- 
dian Division, which came then under the Sixth Corps, Third 
Army area, with headquarters at Basseux. Readjustments 
were also made in the locations of all the Canadian troops then 
in reserve. 

Though the principal reason for placing the Canadians into 
reserve, of course, was to give them a much-needed and well- 
deserved rest, their entire time was by no means devoted to this 
purpose. Throughout this period there went forward a steady 
process of reorganization and training. Reenforcements were 
received and gradually absorbed. The most intensive kind of 
tactical and individual training was carried on throughout May, 
June, and July, 1918. At the same time preparations were being 
made to recapture Merville and part of the Lys salient, opera- 

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tions which for purposes of maintaining secrecy were then known 
as the "Delta attack." 

One memorable event of this period was the celebration of 
Dominion Day. Ever since the Canadians had arrived in France, 
July 1 had been set aside for this purpose, but never before had 
the "sports" been as brilliant as on July 1, 1918. 

Finally, on July 6, 1918, the Canadian Corps was warned to 
be prepared to relieve the Seventeenth Corps in the line. This 
operation was begun on July 10 and completed on July 15, 1918, 
when Lieutenant General Sir A. W. Currie assumed command 
of the Seventeenth Corps front (Arras-Lens sector), disposing 
his forces as follows: 

Headquarters Canadian Corps — Duisans (First Army area). 
Second Canadian Division, in the line — Telegraph Hill section. 
First Canadian Division, in the line — Feuchy-Fampoux section. 
Fourth Canadian Division, in the line — Gavrelle-Oppy section. 
Under Sixth Corps — Third Army area. Third Canadian Divi- 
sion, in the line — Neuville-Vitasse section. 



THE relief of the Seventeenth Corps by the Canadian Corps on 
July 15, 1918, after the corps' long period of rest and training, 
with the attendant movement and activity, made the enemy alert 
and anxious as to the British intentions on this front. He was 
successful in securing identifications at various points of the 
line, which he penetrated by raiding. 

As it was desired to keep him fully occupied on this front, the 
artillery activity was increased and our infantry engaged in 
vigorous patrolling and raiding. 

By the latter part of July, 1918, the Allied High Command had 
decided to enlarge the scope of the operations east of Amiens, 
Originally conceived as of a purely local character, they were 

War St. 8— Yc 


now intended to reduce the entire salient of the Somme created 
by the successful German offensive of March 21, 1918, and the 
days following. 

During the last few days of July, 1918, and the first few days 
of August, 1918, the Canadian Corps was relieved by the Seven- 
teenth Corps and was transferred from the First to the Fourth 
[Army area. On July 30, 1918, Canadian Headquarters moved 
to Molliens Vidame, in the Amiens sector. 

The attack against the Somme salient eventually was set for 
[August 8, 1918. 

The front of attack was to extend from Moreuil to Ville-sur- 
Ancre on a front of approximately 20,000 yards. The disposi- 
tions of the troops participating in the attack were as follows : 

(a) On the right from Moreuil to Thennes (inclusive) — ^the 
First French Army under order of commander in chief British 

(b) In the center from Thennes (exclusive) to the Amiens- 
fJhaulnes Railway— the Canadian Corps. 

(c) On the left from the Amiens- Chaulnes Railway to the 
Somme — ^the Australian Corps. 

(d) The left flank of the Australian Corps was covered by the 
Third (British) Corps attacking in the direction of Merlancourt. 

The object of the attack was to push forward in the direction 
of the line Roye-Chaulnes with the least possible delay, thrusting 
the enemy back in the general direction of Ham, and so facilitat- 
ing the operations of the French on the front between Montdidier 
and Noyon. 

The battle front of the Canadian Corps extended from a point 
about 800 yards south of Hourges to the Amiens-Chaulnes Rail- 
way. It crossed the river Luce about 800 yards northeast of 
Hourges, and remaining well west of Hangard passed through 
the western portion of Hangard Wood. The total length exceeded 
8,500 yards in a straight line. 

In addition to the four Canadian divisions, the following 
troops were placed under Canadian Corps for the operation: 
Fifth Squadron, R. A. F.; Fourth Tank Brigade; Third Cavalry 


A mobile force was organized consisting of the First and 
Second Canadian Motor Machine-Gun Brigades, the Canadian 
Corps Cyclist Battalion, and a section of 6-in. Newton Mortars 
mounted on motor lorries. This force was named the Canadian 
Independent Force, placed under the command of Brigadier 
General R. Brutinel, and given the task of cooperating with the 
cavalry in the neighborhood of the Amiens-Roye road, covering 
the right flank of the right division and maintaining liaison 
with the French. 

Two British divisions were held in army reserve, and were 
available in the event of certain situations developing. 

The total artillery amounted to seventeen brigades of field 
artillery and nine brigades of heavy artillery, plus four addi- 
tional batteries of long-range guns. 

At 10.00 a. m. on the morning of August 5, 1918, General Sir 
A. W. Currie took over command of the battle front, then held 
by the Fourth Australian Division. During the hours of dark- 
ness on the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th the attacking Canadian troops 
relieved the Australian troops, with the exception of those hold- 
ing the outpost line, who remained in position until the night of 
August 7-8, 1918. 

The dispositions of the Canadian Corps on the morning of the 
8th at zero hour were as follows: On the right, the Third 
Canadian Division, in liaison with the French ; in the center, the 
First Canadian Division; on the left, the Second Canadian 
Division, in liaison with the Australians ; in reserve, behind the 
Third Canadian Division, the Fourth Canadian Division. 

Each of these divisions had their allotment of tanks. East of 
the Noye River, the Third Cavalry Division. Behind Gentelle 
Wood, the Canadian Independent Force. 

At 4.20 a. m., August 8, 1918, the initial assault was delivered 
on the entire army front of attack, and the First French Army 
opened their bombardment. 

The attack made satisfactory progress from the outset on the 
whole front. 

East of Hourges, opposite the Third Canadian Division, the 
high ground which dominated the Canadian front and a portion of 


the French front had been seized quickly by the Ninth Canadian 
Infantry Brigade (Brigadier General D. M. Ormond), and the 
way was opened for the Canadian Independent Force and the 
Fourth Canadian Division. 

By the afternoon the Canadian Corps had gained all its objec- 
tives, with the exception of a few hundred yards on the right in 
the vicinity of Le Queenel, where stiff resistance was offered by 
unexpected reserves, but this was made good the following morn- 
ing. The day's operations in which the four Canadian divisions 
took part represented a maximum penetration of the enemy's 
defenses of over eight miles, and included the capture of the fol- 
lowing villages: Hangard, Demuin, Beaucourt, Aubercourt, 
Courcelles, Ignaucourt, Cayeux, Caix, Marcelcave, Wiencourt, 
TEquipee, and Guillaucourt. In addition to these, the Canadian 
Independent Forces assisted the French in the capture of 
Mezieres, which was holding up their advance. 

On the following day, August 9, 1918, the advance was con- 
tinued, with the Third, First, and Second Canadian Divisions in 
the line, the Fourth Canadian Division being held in corps 
reserve. Substantial progress was made, and by evening the 
average depth of advance was about four miles, with a maximum 
of six and one half miles at some points. The following ad- 
ditional villages were captured: Le Quesnel, Folies, Bouchoir, 
Beaufort, Warvillers, Rouvroy, Vrely, Meharicourt, and Rosieres. 

The infantry and tanks of the Third Canadian Division and 
the Canadian Independent Force cooperated with the French in 
the capture of Arvillers. 

During the day the enemy's resistance stiffened considerably, 
and whatever gains were made resulted from heavy infantry 
fighting against fresh troops, with only a few tanks available 
for support. 

The attack was continued on the morning of the 10th, with 
the Third Canadian Division on the right and the Fourth Cana- 
Sdian Division on the left, the First and Second Canadian Divi- 
sions being held in corps reserve. After the Third Canadian 
Division had taken the village of Le Quesnoy-en-Santerre, the 
Thirty-second Division, which had come under the Canadian 


Corps on the night of the 9th-10th, and had been ordered to 
relieve the Third Canadian Division, passed through it and ad- 
vanced the line somewhat farther through the old British 
trenches west of Parvillers and Damery. The Fourth Canadian 
Division during the day succeeded, after very hard fighting, in 
occupying Fouquescourt, Maucourt, Chilly, and Hallu. 

During the night lOth-llth a strong enemy counterattack 
developed against a part of the front of the Fourth Canadian 
Division east of Hallu. This counterattack was beaten off, but 
owing to general conditions the line at that point was slightly 
withdrawn to the railway embankment immediately to the west 
of Hallu. Subsequent upon this slight withdrawal, and with 
a view to reducing the existing salient forward of Chilly, the 
line was further withdrawn to the eastern outskirts of that 

On August 11, 1918, at 9.30 a. m., the Thirty-second Division 
launched an attack against Damery, but was not successful. The 
Fourth Canadian Division improved their line by advancing it 
locally to reduce the Chilly salient, which was still very pro- 

During the night of August 12, 1918, the Thirty-second 
Division and Fourth Canadian Division were relieved by the 
Third and Second Canadian Divisions respectively. 

It now became increasingly apparent that strong enemy re- 
serves had been sent forward to stem the Canadian advance. Six 
fresh divisions and a large number of light and heavy batteries 
had been brought in, and were fighting hard in a strongly in- 
trenched defensive position. 

August 12, 13, 14, 1918, were characterized chiefly by patrol 
encounters and local trench fighting. The Third Canadian 
Division cleared the network of trenches between Fouquescourt 
and Parvillers, and advanced the line as far as the northern and 
western edge of Parvillers and Damery. These two villages 
were captured in the evening of August 15, 1918, and were held 
in spite of heavy counterattacks. Bois de Damery was also 
taken, and this enabled the French to capture the important 
position known as Bois-en-Z. 


On the nights of August 15, 16, and 17, 1918, the First Cana- 
dian Division relieved the Third Canadian Division, the latter 
being withdrawn to corps reserve. 

Progress was made during August 16-17, 1918, the enemy be- 
ing driven out of Fransart by the Fourth Canadian Infantry 
Brigade (Brigadier General R. Rennie) of the Second Canadian 
Division, and out of La Chavatte by the First Canadian Division, 
the Canadian line on the right being advanced in cooperation 
with the French. 

The relief of the Second Canadian Division by the Fourth 
Canadian Division was carried out on the nights of August 15- 
16 and 16-17, 1918, the former being withdrawn to corps reserve 
on the 17th. 

August 18^ 1918, was quiet along the front, but on the 19th 
the Fourth Canadian Division carried out a minor operation 
near Chilly, which greatly improved the line in that neighbor- 
hood. Four hostile counterattacks to recover the newly won 
ground were beaten oif during the night. 

In the meantime it had been decided to transfer the Canadian 
Corps back to the First Army. On the 19th, the Second and 
Third Canadian Divisions started their move to the First Army, 
and on the night of the 19th-20th the relief of the First Canadian 
Division by the French commenced. This relief was completed 
on the 22d, and the First Canadian Division was placed in corps 

On August 22, 1918, General Currie handed over command of 
the Canadian Corps front, and of the First and Fourth Canadian 
Divisions, Second Canadian Motor Machine-Gun Brigade, the 
Eighth Army Brigade, C. F. A., and the C. C. H. A., to the 
G. 0. C. Australian Corps, and Canadian Headquarters moved 
north to Hautecloque (Arras-Lens sector). 

Between August 8 and 22, 1918, the Canadian Corps fought 
against fifteen German divisions; of these, ten were directly 
engaged and thoroughly defeated, prisoners being captured from 
almost every one of their battalions ; the five other divisions, 
fighting astride the Canadian flanks, were only partially en- 


In the same period the Canadian Corps captured 9,131 prison- 
ers, 190 guns of all calibers, and more than 1,000 machine guns 
and trench mortars. 

The greatest depth penetrated approximated to fourteen miles, 
and an area of over sixty-seven square miles containing twenty- 
seven towns and villages had been liberated. 

The casualties suffered by the Canadian Corps in the fourteen 
days' heavy fighting amounted to — 

Officers Other Ranks 

Killed 126 1,688 

Missing 9 436 

Wounded . 444 8,659 

Total 579 10,783 

Considering the number of German divisions engaged, and 
the results achieved, the casualties were very light. 



CANADIAN Headquarters were moved from Hautecloque to 
Noyelle Vion on August 23, 1918, and at noon General Currie 
assumed command of the front then held by the Seventeenth 
(British) Corps, extending from Neuville-Vitasse to Gavrelle 
in the Arras-Lens sector. The First and Fourth Canadian 
Divisions returned to the corps from the Amiens front on August 
25 and 28, 1918, respectively. The corps thus was again with 
the First Army. 

The general military situation at this time on the Amiens- 
Arras front is described by General Currie in his official report 
of these operations as follows : 

"In sympathy with the severe reverses suffered on the Marne, 
and consequent upon the actions now fully developed in the 
Somme salient, signs were not wanting that the enemy was 
preparing to evacuate the salient of the Lys. This evacuation 
began under pressure of the First Army on August 25, 1918. 


"All these attacks and their results, direct or indirect, enabled 
the Allies to recover the ground they had lost in the course of the 
German offensive operations. 

"The recapture of that ground was, however, of secondary im- 
portance as compared to the moral results of these successive 

"The German armies had been impressed in the course of 
these operations by the superiority of our generalship and of our 
organization, and by the great determination of our troops and 
subordinate commanders. 

"The Hindenburg system, however, was intact, and the enemy 
Higher Command hoped and believed that behind this powerfully 
organized area the German armies might be collected and re- 

"Fighting the most determined rear-guard action in the Somme 
salient, they expected that our armies would be tired and de- 
pleted by the time they reached the forward area of the Hinden- 
burg system. 

"The Battle of Cambrai, now about to be begun, shattered 
their hopes. By breaking through the Drocourt-Queant line, 
itself but a part of the Hindenburg system, the Canadian Corps 
carried the operations forward to ground that had been in the 
hands of the Germans since 1914. 

"This advance constituted a direct threat on the rear of the 
German armies north and south of Cambrai. 

"Dominated at all times, paralyzed by the swift and bold 
strokes on vital points of their line and by the relentless pressure 
applied everywhere, the German Higher Command was unable 
to take adequate steps to localize and stop our advance. After 
the Drocourt-Queant line was broken, the retreat of the enemy 
became more accelerated, and our attacks met everywhere with 
less organized and determined resistance. 

"The moral effect of the most bitter and relentless fighting 
which led to the capture of Cambrai was tremendous. The Ger- 
mans had at last learned and understood that they were beaten." 

The Canadian Corps, on the right of the First Army, was to 
attack eastward astride the Arras-Cambrai road, and by forcing 


its way through the Drocourt-Queant line south of the Scarpe 
to break the hinge of the Hindenburg system and prevent the 
possibility of the enemy rallying behind this powerfully organized 
defended area. 

The ground to be attacked lent itself peculiarly to defense, 
being composed of a succession of ridges, rivers, and canals, 
which formed natural lines of defense of very great strength. 
These natural positions, often mutually supporting, had been 
abundantly fortified. Their organization was the last work in 
military engineering, and represented years of intensive and 
systematic labor. Barbed-wire entanglements were formidable, 
machine-gun positions innumerable, and large tunnels had been 
provided for the protection of the garrison. 

The four main system of defense consisted of the following 
lines: The old German front system east of Monchy-le-Preux, 
the Fresnes-Rouvroy line, the Drocourt-Queant line, and the 
Canal du Nord line. These, with their subsidiary switches and 
strong points, as well as the less organized, but by no means weak 
intermediate lines of trenches, made the series of positions to be 
attacked without doubt one of the strongest defensively on the 
western front. 

Broad glacis, studded with machine-gun nests, defended the 
immediate approaches to these lines, and this necessitated in each 
case heavy fighting to gain a suitable jumping-off line before 
assaulting the main position. 

In addition to these systems, and as a preliminary to the attack 
on the old German system east of Monchy-le-Preux, it was neces- 
sary to capture the very well organized British defenses which 
had been lost in the fighting of March, 1918. 

These defenses were intact to a depth of about 5,500 yards, 
and were dominated by the heights of Monchy-le-Preux, from 
which the Germans were enjoying superior observation. 

Throughout these operations there could not be any element 
of surprise, other than that afforded by the selection of the 
actual hour of the assaults. The positions to be attacked formed 
the pivot of the movements of the German army to the south, 
and the security of the armies to the north depended also on 


these positions being retained. There was consequently little 
doubt that the enemy was alert, and had made every disposition 
to repulse the expected attacks. Therefore, the plans necessitated 
provision for very hard and continuous fighting, the main stress 
being laid on the continuity of the operations. 

On August 26, 1918, at 3.00 a. m., the attack was launched 
under the usual artillery and machine-gun barrages. It made 
good progress, the village of Monchy-le-Preux being entered early 
in the day, after a very brilliant encircling attack carried out by 
the Eighth Infantry Brigade (Brigadier General D. C. Draper). 
The trenches immediately to the east of Monchy-le-Preux were 
found to be heavily held, and were not cleared until about 11 
a. m. by the Seventh Canadian Infantry Brigade (Brigadier 
General H. Dyer). 

Guemappe was captured by 4 p. m. and Wancourt Tower and 
the top of Heninel Ridge were in Canadian hands at 10.40 p. m. 
The defenders of the latter feature fought hard but eventually 
succumbed to a determined attack delivered by the Sixth Cana- 
dian Infantry Brigade (Brigadier General A. H. Bell), under 
cover of an extemporized barrage fired by the Second Canadian 
Divisional Artillery (Brigadier General H. A. Panet). During 
the night this brigade captured, in addition. Egret Trench, thus 
securing a good jumping-off place for the operations of the fol- 
lowing day. 

The attack was renewed at 4.55 a. m. on August 27, 1918, by 
the Second and Third Canadian Divisions, in the face of in- 
creased opposition, under a uniformly good initial barrage. 

The Second Canadian Division pushed doggedly forward 
through the old German trench system, where very stiff hand-to- 
hand fighting took place, and crossed the Sensee River, after 
capturing the villages of Cherisy and Vis-en-Artois. 

The Third Canadian Division encountered very heavy opposi- 
tion, but succeeded in capturing Bois-du-Vert, Bois-du-Sart, and 
reaching the western outskirts of Haucourt, Remy, Boiry-Notre- 
Dame, and Pelves. 

The enemy throughout the day pushed a large number of re- 
enforcements forward, bringing up machine-gun units in motor 


lorries in the face of our accurate field and heavy artillery fire. 
Hostile fidd batteries in the open, firing over open sights, showed 
remarkable tenacity, several remaining in action until the per- 
sonnel had been destroyed by our machine-gun fire. 

At 9.00 a. m. on August 28, 1918, the Third Canadian Division 
resumed the attack, followed at 12.30 by the Second Canadian 
Division. The objective for the day was the capture of the 
Fresnes-Rouvroy line, the possession of which was vital to the 
success of further operations. 

On the left, the Third Canadian Division had pushed forward, 
captured the Fresnes-Rouvroy line from the Sensee River to 
north of Boiry-Notre-Dame, and had secured that village. Jigsaw 
Wood, and entered Pelves. They had, however, been unable to 
clear the village of Haucourt. 

On the front of the Second Canadian Division the fighting was 
most severe. The wire in front of the Fresnes-Rouvroy line was 
found to be almost intact, and although at some points the Fifth 
Canadian Infantry Brigade (Brigadier General T. L. Tremblay) 
had succeeded in penetrating the line, the first objective could 
not be secured, except one short length on the extreme right. 
Subjected to heavy machine-gun fire from both flanks as well as 
frontally, the attacking troops had suffered heavy casualties, 
which they had borne with the utmost fortitude. 

At nightfall the general line of the Second Canadian Division 
was little in advance of the line held the night before, although 
a few small parties of stubborn men were still as far forward as 
the wire of the Fresnes-Rouvroy line. 

Enemy reenforcements were seen dribbling forward all day 

The Second and Third Canadian Divisions were now ex- 
hausted, and during the night of August 28-29, 1918, they 
were relieved by the First Canadian Division on the right, the 
Fourth (British) Division on the left, and Brutinel's Brigade 
(formerly the Canadian Independent Force) on the extreme 
left flank. 

The heavy artillery from now on concentrated on the cutting 
of the broad belts of wire in front of the Drocourt-Queant line, 


and the engineers prepared the bridging material required for 
the crossings of the Sensee River and the Canal du Nord. 

During the day (August 29, 1918) the Canadian line had been 
considerably improved by minor operations. 

On August 30, 1918, the First Canadian Division attacked the 
Vis-en-Artois Switch, Upton Wood, and the Fresnes-Rouvroy 
line south of the Vis-en-Artois Switch. The attack, a daring 
maneuver, organized and carried out by the First Canadian In- 
fantry Brigade (Brigadier General W. A. Griesbach), under 
cover of very ingenious barrages arranged by the C. R. A., 
First Canadian Division (Brigadier General H. C. Thacker), was 
eminently successful, all objectives being captured and the entire 
garrison either killed or taken prisoner. Heavy counterattacks 
by fresh troops were repulsed during the afternoon and follow- 
ing night. 

On August 31, 1918, the remainder of the Fresnes-Rouvroy 
line south of the Arras-Cambrai road, including Ocean Work, 
was captured by the Second Canadian Infantry Brigade (Brig- 
adier General F. 0. W. Loomis). 

In the meantime, the Fourth (British) Division had doggedly 
pushed ahead, crossing the valley of the Sensee River and captur- 
ing the villages of Haucourt, Remy, and Eterpigny. This ad- 
vance was over very difficult, thickly wooded country, and the 
fighting was very heavy, particularly in the vicinity of St.- 
Servin*s Farm, which, after changing hands several times, re- 
mained in possession of the enemy until September 2, 1918. 

On the night of August 31-September 1 the Fourth Canadian 
Division came into the line on a one-brigade front between the 
First Canadian Division and Fourth (British) Division. 

The important strong point known as the Crow's Nest was 
captured by the Third Canadian Infantry Brigade on September 
1, 1918. 

During the afternoon and evening of September 1, 1918, the 
enemy delivered violent counterattacks, directed against the 
junction of the First and Fourth Canadian Divisions. Two fresh 
divisions and two divisions already in the line were identified in 
the course of this heavy fighting. The Canadian troops were 


forced back slightly twice, but the ground was each time re- 
gained and finally held. The hand-to-hand fighting for the pos- 
session of the crest of the spur at this point really continued 
until zero hour the next day, the troops attacking the Drocourt- 
Queant line, as they moved forward, taking over the fight from 
the troops then holding the line. 

At 5.00 a. m. September 2, 1918, the major operation against 
the Drocourt-Queant line was launched. Preceded by a dense bar- 
rage, and assisted by tanks, the infantry pushed forward rapidly, 
and the Drocourt-Queant line (the first objective) and its sup- 
port line (the second objective), including the village of Dury, 
were captured according to program. With the capture of the 
second objective the field artillery barrage was shot out, and 
the attack farther east had to be carried forward without its 
assistance. The enemy's resistance, free of the demoralizing effect 
of the barrage, stiffened considerably, the open country bein^ 
swept continually by intense machine-gun fire. In addition, the 
tanks soon became casualties from enemy guns firing point-blank, 
and the advance on the left and center was held up. 

BrutineFs Brigade, reenforced by a regiment of cavalry 
(Tenth Royal Hussars) and armored cars, endeavored to pass 
through to capture the Marquion Bridge on the Canal du Nord. 
Wire, trenches, and sunken roads, however, confined the move- 
ments of the force to the Arras-Cambrai road; and this was 
rendered impassable by enemy machine-gun fire and by batteries 
firing over open sights. 

On the right, however, the First Canadian Division pushed 
forward despite very heavy machine-gun and direct artillery 
fire, and captured the villages of Cagnicourt and Villers-lez- 
Cagnicourt, the Bois de Bouche and Bois de Loison to the east of 

Further progress made by the First Canadian Division in the 
afternoon resulted in the capture of the heavily wired Buissy 
Switch line as far south as the outskirts of Buissy ; this largely 
outflanked the enemy still holding out in front of the Fourth 
Canadian Division, and compelled their retirement during the 
night behind the Canal du Nord. 


By now the number of unwounded prisoners captured ex- 
ceeded 5,000, and Canadian infantry had penetrated the enemy's 
defenses to a depth exceeding 6,000 yards. 

In the night of September 3-4, 1918, the Second and Third 
Canadian Divisions relieved the First and Fourth Canadian 
Divisions respectively, and the Fourth (British) Division was 
relieved by the First (British) Division, which had come under 
the Canadian Corps on September 1, 1918, and had been con- 
centrated after that date in the Monchy-le-Preux, Vis-en-Artois, 
Guemappe area. 

The next objective on the Canadian front was now the Canal 
du Nord. This position, however, was so strongly held and the 
natural difficulties of the terrain involved were so great that it 
was decided to make further preparations before attempting this 
operation which, from its very nature, would have to form part 
of a larger scheme. 

The Canadians now held positions which were defensively very 
strong. The line, therefore, was held very thinly in order to 
gain an opportunity to rest and refit the divisions. Until Sep- 
tember 27, 1918, no changes developed on the Canadian front 
Night patrolling and sniping, of course, were kept up. There 
was also continuous night firing by artillery and machine guns, 
while the heavy artillery (Brigadier General R. H. Massie) car- 
ried out daily wire cutting, counterbattery shoots, and gas con- 



THE share of the Canadian Corps in the operations in the 
direction of Cambrai, toward the preparations of which the 
best part of September, 1918, was devoted, was at first to be the 
crossing of the Canal du Nord and the capture of Bourlon Wood 
and of the high ground to the northeast of it. Later during the 
month the task of the corps was enlarged to include the capture 


of the bridges over the Canal-de-rEscaut, north of Cambrai, and 
of the high ground overlooking the Sensee Valley. The strength 
of the corps was increased by attaching to it the Eleventh Divi- 
sion and the Seventh Tank Battalion. 

At 5.20 a. m., September 27, 1918, the attack was success- 
fully launched, and in spite of all obstacles went well from 
the first. 

The barrage was uniformly good, and the Third and Fourth 
Canadian Divisional Artilleries, commanded respectively by 
Brigadier General J. S. Stewart and Brigadier General W. B. M. 
King, were successful in advancing into captured ground, and 
continued the barrage as planned. 

Early in the afternoon the first phase of the attack was sub- 
stantially over, and the readjustments of the fronts preparatory 
to the second phase were under way. 

On the extreme right, however, the Seventeenth Corps had 
failed to keep pace with the Canadian advance, and the latter's 
right flank, submitted to severe enfilade machine-gun fire from 
the vicinity of Anneux, had to be refused for a considerable 
distance to retain touch with the left of the Seventeenth Corps ; 
therefore the encircling movement which was to have given the 
Canadians Bourlon Wood could not be developed. 

Fully alive to the gravity of the situation which would be 
created on the flank of the Third Army hy the failure to capture 
and hold Bourlon Wood, the Fourth Canadian Division attacked 
from the north side of the wood and captured all the high ground, 
pushing patrols as far as Fontaine- Notre-Dame. Bourlon Wood, 
which is 110 meters high, dominates the ground as far south as 
Flequieres and Havrincourt ; its loss after very heavy fighting in 
November, 1917, during the first battle of Cambrai, caused even- 
tually the withdrawal of the Third Army from a large portion of 
the ground they had won by their surprise attack. 

A severe counterattack, launched from the direction of Raillen- 
court against the left of the Fourth Canadian Division, was 
repulsed in the afternoon with heavy losses to the enemy. 

The First Canadian Division and the Eleventh (British) 
Division made substantial gains, the former capturing Hayne- 


court and crossing the Douai-Cambrai road, and the latter push- 
ing on and taking Epinoy and Oisy-le- Verger by evening. 

The attack was continued on September 28, 1918. The Third 
Canadian Division captured Fontaine-Notre-Dame (one of the 
Seventeenth Corps' objectives) and, penetrating the Marcoing 
line, reached the western outskirts of St.-Olle. The Fourth 
Canadian Division captured Raillencourt and Sailly, and the 
Eleventh (British) Division established posts in Aubencheul-au- 
Bac and occupied the Bois-de-Quesnoy. The First Canadian 
Division, in view of their advance of the previous day which had 
produced a considerable salient, did not push forward. 

Heavy fighting characterized September 29, 1918. The Third 
Canadian Division, the Fourth Canadian Division, and the First 
Canadian Division all made progress in the face of severe opposi- 
tion. The Third Canadian Division pushed the line forward to 
the junction of the Arras and Bapaume road, the western out- 
skirts of Neuville St.-Remy and the Douai-Cambrai road. They 
also cleared the Marquion line from the Bapaume-Cambrai road 
southward toward the Canal-de-FEscaut. The Fourth Canadian 
Division captured Sancourt, crossed the Douai-Cambrai railway 
and entered Blecourt, but later withdrew to the line of the rail- 
way in the face of a heavy counterattack. 

The operation of September 30, 1918, was planned in two 
phases. In the first, the Third and Fourth Canadian Divisions 
were to push forward across the high ground between the Canal- 
de-FEscaut and the Blecourt-Bantigny Ravine, when Brutinel's 
Brigade was to pass through them and secure bridgeheads at 
Ramillies and Eswars. The second phase, to take place on the 
success of the first, provided for the seizing of the high ground 
overlooking the Sensee River by the First Canadian Division and 
the Eleventh (British) Division. The attack was commenced 
well, and the villages of Tilloy and Blecourt were captured by 
the Third and Fourth Canadian Divisions respectively. A heavy 
counterattack, however, against the Fourth Canadian Division 
and the left flank of the Third Canadian Division, assisted by 
exceptionally severe enfilade fire from the high ground to the 
north of the Blecourt-Bantigny Ravine, forced the line on the left 


back to the eastern outskirts of Sancourt. The second phase of 
the attack was not carried out, and the net gains for the day- 
were the capture of Tilloy and some progress made on the right 
of the Third Canadian Division from Neuville St.-Remy south. 
Prisoners taken during the day testified to the supreme impor- 
tance, in the eyes of the enemy, of the positions held by him and 
the necessity that they be held at all costs. 

The tremendous exertions and considerable casualties conse- 
quent upon the four days' almost continuous fighting had made 
heavy inroads on the freshness and efficiency of all arms, and it 
was questionable whether an immediate decision could be forced 
in the face of the heavy concentration of troops which the suc- 
cessful and, from the enemy's standpoint, dangerous advance had 
drawn. On the other hand, it was known that the enemy had 
suffered severely, and it was quite possible that matters had 
reached a stage where he no longer considered the retention of 
this position worth the severe losses both in men and morale 
consequent upon a continuance of the defense. It was therefore 
decided that the assault would be continued on October 1, 1918, 
the four divisions in line attacking simultaneously under a heavy 
barrage, coordinated by the G. 0. C, R. A. During the night 
the Twenty-second Corps took over a portion of the front held 
by the Eleventh Division, the Fifty-sixth Division becoming 
responsible for the defense of the relieved front at 6.00 a. m., 
October 1, 1918. 

The attack made excellent progress in the early stages, and the 
troops reached the general line, Canal-de-l'Escaut (east of Neu- 
ville St.-Remy), Morenchies Wood, Cuvillers, Bantigny (all in- 

The decision of the enemy to resist to the last quickly mani- 
fested itself. About 10.00 a. m. heavy counterattacks developed 
up the Bantigny Ravine from the direction of Paillencourt. 
These, supplemented by enfilade fire from the high ground just 
south of Abancourt, which still remained in the enemy's hands, 
due to a certain extent to the inability of the Eleventh Division 
on the left to make progress, were sufficient to press back the 
more advanced troops. Pockets of the enemy in Blecourt and 

War St. 8— Zc 


Bantigny continued to give trouble, and the Canadian line was 
ultimately forced by greatly superior numbers out of Cuvillers, 
Bantigny, and Blecourt. 

To continue to throw tired troops against such opposition, 
without giving them an opportunity to refit and recuperate, was 
obviously inviting a serious failure, and the Canadian commander 
in chief accordingly decided to break off the engagement. The 
five days' fighting had yielded practical gains of a very valuable 
nature, as well as 7,059 prisoners and 205 guns. 

The Second Canadian Division had been in close support 
throughout the day, and during the night of October 1-2, 1918, 
relieved the Fourth Canadian Division and parts of the Third 
and First Canadian Divisions in the line from the railway south 
of Tilloy to Blecourt inclusive. On relief, the Fourth Canadian 
Division came into corps reserve in bivouacs in the Inchy- 
Queant area. 

The relief considerably thinned out the infantry and in an- 
ticipation of possible counterattacks a large number of machine- 
gun batteries were placed in the line. 

October 2, 1918, passed without any substantial change in the 
situation. The enemy's artillery was very active throughout the 
day, and at 6.15 p. m. he delivered a determined counterattack, 
with a force estimated at about a battalion strong, against the 
ridge northeast of Tilloy, on the Second Canadian Division front. 
This counterattack was repulsed with heavy loss to the enemy. 

During the night of October 2-3, 1918, the Eleventh Division 
extended its frontage to the right as far as Blecourt (inclusive), 
relieving the remainder of the First Canadian Division, who 
came into corps reserve west of the Canal on completion of the 

The dispositions of the Canadian Corps at noon, October 3, 
1918, were as follows: 

In the line — the Third Canadian Division on the right on a 
one-brigade front, from the Arras-Cambrai railway to the Cam- 
brai-Douai railway south of Tilloy ; the Second Canadian Division 
in the center, on a two-brigade front, extending to the northern 
outskirts of Blecourt, and the Eleventh Division on the left 


continuing the line to a point 1,000 yards south of Aubencheul- 

In corps reserve — the First and Fourth Canadian Divisions. 
The latter was moved to billets in the Haute Avesnes-Arras area 
on the night of October 7-8, 1918, to give more opportunity to 
rest and refit. 

The period from October 3 to 8, 1918, passed without any 
material changes on the corps front. An enemy counterattack 
was beaten oif by the Second Canadian Division, opposite Ban- 
tigny, on the morning of October 4, 1918, and the Eleventh 
Division considerably improved the line on the northern flank by 
successful minor operations on October 5 and 6, 1918. 

Many patrol encounters took place, in which some prisoners 
were captured, and our artillery and machine guns kept the 
enemy under continual harassing fire day and night. In addition, 
our heavy artillery carried out a daily program of gas concen- 
trations and counterbattery shoots. 

Orders were received on October 3, 1918, for the relief of the 
corps by the Twenty-second Corps. Concurrently with this 
relief, and as it progressed, the Canadian Corps was to take over 
the front of the Twenty-second Corps. 

Plans for further operations having been formulated to take 
place on the Third Army front, the Canadian Corps was ordered 
on October 5, 1918, to cooperate by forcing the crossings of the 
Canal-de-l'Escaut, north of Cambrai, and the relief contemplated 
was, therefore, postponed. 

The Third Army had been successful in crossing the Canal- 
de-l'Escaut south of Cambrai between Crevecoeur and Proville. 
The operation now contemplated had for its object the capture 
of Cambrai by envelopment. This was to be carried out in 
two phases. 

In the first phase the Seventeenth Corps was to capture 
Awoignt by attacking from the south, the Canadian Corps was 
to cooperate by an artillery demonstration. In the second phase 
the Canadian Corps was to cross the Canal-de-FEscaut and, ad- 
vancing rapidly, capture Escaudoeuvres, joining hands with the 
Seventeenth Corps northeast of Cambrai. 


The positions occupied by the Third and Second Canadian 
Divisions were not favorable for an attack by day; the Third 
Canadian Division was in front of Cambrai, and house-to-house 
lighting was out of the question ; the Second Canadian Division 
was separated from the Canal by glacislike slopes, devoid of 
cover, and on which the enemy had good observation from the 
numerous houses on the east side of the Canal as well as from 
the high ground east of Escaudoeuvres. In addition, Morenchies, 
Pont d'Aire, Ramillies, and the villages to the north were 
strongly held by the enemy. 

In spite of the difficulties of a night operation it was decided 
that the Second Canadian Division would attack by night, and 
attempt to seize the bridges before they were blown up by the 

The Third Canadian Division was to cover the right of the 
Second Canadian Division by capturing the railway embank- 
ment, and entering Cambrai as soon as possible to prevent any 
action of the enemy against the right flank of the Second 
Canadian Division, which, under the best circumstances, was 
bound to be in the air for some time after the crossing of the 

BrutineFs Brigade was to cross the Canal as soon as possible 
and extend the gains of the Second Canadian Division by seizing 
the high ground east of Thun St.-Martin. Ten brigades of field 
artillery were available for the operation. 

At 4.30 a. m., October 8, 1918, the Third Army attacked, and 
at the same hour an artillery demonstration was carried out on 
the Canadian Corps front. 

The Seventeenth Corps on the right did not reach Awoignt, 
but in the evening they were ordered to continue their advance 
on the morning of October 9, 1918, to capture the town; con- 
currently with this advance the Canadian Corps was to secure 
the crossings of the Canal-de-FEscaut. 

In spite of the darkness of a rainy night the assembly was 
completed and the attack was launched successfully at 1.30 a. m., 
October 9, 1918. Rapid progress was made, and at 2.25 a. m., 
the Second Canadian Division had captured Ramillies and estab- 


lished posts on the Canal there, and patrols were pushing out to 
the northeast. On the right the infantry, assisted by a party of 
engineers, rushed the crossings at Pont d'Aire, and, after sharp 
fighting, captured the bridge intact with the exception of the 
western spillway, which had been partially destroyed. Two cork 
bridges were thrown across, and by 3.35 a. m. the infantry were 
well established on the eastern side of the Canal. The Third 
Canadian Division had cleared the railway, and their patrols were 
pushing into Cambrai, while the engineers were commencing 
work on the bridges. 

By 8.00 a. m. the Second Canadian Division had captured 
Escaudoeuvres, and had established a line on the high ground 
immediately to the north and east. Detachments of the Third 
Canadian Division had by this time completely cleared Cambrai 
of the enemy, and troops of the Third Army could be seen coming 
up toward it from the south. 

Cambrai was to be deliberately set on fire by the enemy. Huge 
fires were burning in the Square when Canadian patrols went 
through, and many others broke out in all parts of the city. 
Piles of inflammable material were found ready for the torch, 
but the enemy was unable to carry out his intention owing to the 
Canadians' unexpected attack and rapid progress. A party of 
one officer and a few men, which had been left with instructions 
to set fire to Cambrai, was discovered and dealt with before it 
could do any further damage. The fires were successfully checked 
by a large detachment of Canadian engineers, who entered the 
city with the patrols. A considerable number of road mines, 
"booby traps,'' etc., were also located and removed. 

An air reconnoissance at dawn indicated that the enemy had 
withdrawn from the area between the Canal-de-l'Escaut and the 
Canal-de-la Sensee, and that all bridges over the latter had beei^ 

BrutineFs Brigade, passing through the infantry of the Second 
Canadian Division, seized the high ground at Croix St.-Hubert 
and pushed cavalry patrols into Thun Levecque. 

The Second Canadian Division east of the Canal progressed 
toward the north and occupied Thun Levecque, Thun St.-Martin, 


Blecourt, Cuvillers, and Bantigny, and the Eleventh Division 
occupied Abancourt and reached the outskirts of Paillencourt. 

The Third Canadian Division was withdrawn at 7.10 p. m. 
when the Twenty-fourth Division (Seventeenth Corps) passed 
through and joined up with the Second Canadian Division, and 
Cambrai and the positions to the east were taken over or occupied 
by the Seventeenth Corps. 

The Third Canadian Division was moved on the following 
day to bivouacs in the Inchy-Queant area to rest and refit after 
twelve days of battle. 

The attack was continued at 6,00 a. m., October 10, 1918, by 
the Second Canadian and Eleventh (British) Divisions, and good 
progress was made. The Second Canadian Division captured 
Naves, and by nightfall reached a point one and a half miles 
northeast on the Cambrai-Salzoir road. From there the line ran 
westward to the Canal-de-FEscaut, exclusive of Iwuy, where the 
Canadians had been held up by machine-gun fire. 

In this attack BrutineFs Brigade operated along the Cambrai- 
Salzoir road, but finding the bridge over the Erclin River 
destroyed could not get their cars farther forward. This bridge, 
although on the outpost line under heavy fire, was immediately 
replaced by the engineers, a covering party being supplied by 
BrutineFs Brigade. Machine-gun crews from the cars went 
forward on foot, however, and materially assisted the infantry 
advancing at this point, and the corps cavalry, by a brilliant 
charge, helped in the capture of the ground east of the Rieux- 
Iwuy road. 

On the left the Eleventh Division cleared the enemy from the 
area between the Canal-de-l'Escaut and the Sensee Canal, cap- 
tured Paillencourt and Estrun, and reached the outskirts of 
Hem-Lenglet, which they occupied during the night. 

The Forty-ninth and Fifty-first Divisions were released from 
army reserve and transferred to the Canadian Corps on October 
10, 1918. During the night of October 10-11, 1918, the former 
relieved that part of the Second Canadian Division east of Iwuy, 
and the Fifty-first (Highland) Division moved to the Escau- 
doeuvres area. 


At 9.00 a. m., October 11, 1918, the Canadian Corps resumed 
the attack with the Forty-ninth Division on the right and the 
Second Canadian Division on the left. The enemy laid down a 
heavy artillery barrage and both divisions encountered stiff 
opposition. After fierce fighting, however, the attack made good 
progress, the Forty-ninth Division gaining the high ground east 
of Iwuy, and the Second Canadian Division capturing Iwuy and 
the high ground to the north. 

About 10.30 a. m. the enemy delivered a heavy counterattack 
under an artillery barrage and supported by seven tanks, from 
the direction of Avesnes-le-Sec, against the Forty-ninth and 
Second Canadian Divisions. The Canadian line was forced back 
slightly at first, but six of the tanks were knocked out by the 
artillery, the assaulting infantry dispersed by machine-gun and 
rifle fire, and the attack repulsed. 

Meanwhile, on October 7 and 8, 1918, the First Canadian 
Division had relieved the Fourth (British) Division (Twenty- 
second Corps) on the frontage between Palluel and the Scarpe 
River, and passed under the command of the G. O. C, Twenty- 
second Corps. 

On October 11, 1918, General Sir A. W. Currie handed over 
command of the corps front (less the Eleventh Divisional sector) 
to the G. 0. C, Twenty-second Corps, and the Second Canadian 
and the Forty-ninth and Fifty-first Divisions were transferred 
to the Twenty-second Corps. At the same time he assumed com- 
mand of the former Twenty-second Corps front, and the Fifty- 
sixth and the First Canadian Divisions were transferred in the 
line to the Canadian Corps. During the night of October 11-12, 
1918, the Second Canadian Division was relieved in the line east 
of the Iwuy-Denain railway by the Fifty-first (Highland) Divi- 
sion, and on completion of the relief, the Canadian commander 
in chief assumed command of the remainder of the Second Cana- 
dian Divisional front, extending from the Iwuy-Denain railway 
exclusive to the Canal-de-l'Escaut. 

The battle of Arras-Cambrai, so fruitful in results, was now 
closed. Since August 26, 1918, the Canadian Corps had advanced 
twenty-three miles, fighting for every foot of ground and over- 


coming bitter resistance. In that period the Canadian Corps 
engaged and defeated decisively thirty-one German divisions, 
reenforced by numerous marksmen machine-gun com.panies. 
These divisions were met in strongly fortified positions and 
under conditions most favorable to the defense. 

In the battle 18,585 prisoners were captured by the Canadians, 
together with 371 guns, 1,923 machine guns and many trench 

Over 116 square miles of French soil, containing fifty-four 
towns and villages and including the city of Cambrai, were 

The severity of the fighting and the heroism of the Canadian 
troops may be gathered from the casualties suffered between 
August 22 and October 11, 1918, and which are as follows : 

Officers Other Ranks 

Killed 296 4,071 

Missing 18 1,912 

Wounded 1,230 23,279 

Total 1,544 29,262 



rpHE new front of the Canadian Corps on October 11, 1918, 
-*■ extended from Iwuy-Denain railway, north of Iwuy, to the 
Canal-de-FEscaut at Estrun, thence following the southern bank 
of the Canal-de-la-Sensee to Palluel, thence crossing the Sensee 
River at Hamel to the Scarpe River east of Vitry. The front 
was held by the Second Canadian Division from the right to the 
Canal-de-FEscaut ; the Eleventh Division from Estrun (in- 
clusive) to Aubencheul-au-Bac (exclusive) ; the Fifty-sixth 
Division from Aubencheul-au-Bac (inclusive) to Palluel (in- 
clusive), and the First Canadian Division from Palluel (ex- 
clusive) to the western boundary. 


The fronts of the Eleventh and Fifty-sixth Divisions were then 
stationary, but on the front of the First Canadian Division cross- 
ings had been forced over the Sensee and Trinquis Rivers that 
morning, and the enemy was retiring, closely followed by battle 
patrols of the First Canadian Division. 

The First Canadian Division had relieved the Fourth British 
Division in the line along the south side of the valleys of the 
Sensee and Trinquis Rivers, from Palluel exclusive to the Scarpe, 
during the nights of October 5-6 and 6-7, 1918, coming under 
orders of the Twenty-second Corps. The front had been a quiet 
one, the river valleys having been flooded by the enemy to an 
average width of from 300 to 400 yards, and the bridges de- 

On the morning of October 8, 1918, the division carried out a 
"Chinese attack' ' with a view to ascertaining the enemy's prob- 
able action if attacked. Under cover of the barrage, patrols 
succeeded in enlarging the small bridgehead across the river at 
Sailly-en-Ostrevent, capturing twenty-four prisoners and two 
machine guns. 

The enemy was expected to withdraw shortly, and this barrage 
was repeated daily at dawn with the object of harassing the 
enemy and testing his strength. At 3.00 a, m., October 10, 
1918, battle patrols were pushed out by the Third Canadian 
Infantry Brigade (Brigadier General G. S. Tuxford) from 
the bridgehead at Sailly, and after capturing the village they 
entered the Drocourt-Queant line to the northeast. Thirty 
prisoners and six machine guns were sent back from Sailly 
at daylight; a strong enemy counterattack (estimated at two 
battalions) overran the force in the Drocourt-Queant line and 
recaptured Sailly, driving the Canadian line back to the line 
previously held. 

On October 11, 1918, in conjunction with an attack on the 
left by the Eighth Division, Canadian troops forced their way 
over the narrow crossings of the Sensee and Trinquis Rivers in 
the face of considerable machine-gun fire and pushed northward 
and eastward, meeting only resistance from isolated machine- 
gun nests. The performance of the first patrols in forcing their 


way across the narrow causeways, all stoutly defended by 
machine guns, was a splendid achievement. 

By the night of October 11, 1918, the First Canadian Division, 
on the left, had reached the line Hamel-Estrees-Noyelles (all in- 
clusive), and at dawn, October 12, 1918, pushed forward, clear- 
ing Arleux and reaching the west bank of the Canal from Palluel 
to the Scarpe. 

On October 12, 1918, the line remained stationary between the 
Canal du Nord and the Canal-de-FEscaut. East of the Canal- 
de-PEscaut the Second Canadian Division attacked at noon in 
conjunction with the Twenty-second Corps on the right and cap- 
tured Hordain. Attempts to push forward to Basseville were, 
however, stopped by machine-gun fire. The restricted area and 
the inundated conditions of the ground prevented further 
progress on this front until the troops on the right could get 

On the Canadian Corps' front, the divisions in the line were 
confronted by the Canal-de-la-Sensee, and this in its flooded 
condition was a serious obstacle, the few crossings possible be- 
ing narrow and easily defended. Orders were issued, however, 
that a policy of aggressive patrolling should be adopted to de- 
tect at the earliest possible moment any retirement, and that 
all preparations should be made for an immediate and rapid 

The Canadian patrols were most daring during the next few 
days, but no weak spot was to be found along the enemy front, 
all attempts at crossing the Canal being stopped by heavy ma- 
chine-gun and rifle fire. 

During the night of October 12-13, 1918, the Second Canadian 
Division extended its left to Aubencheul-au-Bac (exclusive), 
relieving the Eleventh Division in the line, with the Fourth 
Canadian Infantry Brigade (Brigadier General G. E. McCuaig) 
on the right, and the Sixth Canadian Infantry Brigade (Briga- 
dier General A. Ross) on the left. At this stage the G. 0. C. 
Fifty-sixth Division represented that his troops were too weak 
and tired to carry out the vigorous pursuit required in case of 
an enemy withdrawal. The Fourth Canadian Division was, 


therefore, ordered to relieve the Fifty-sixth Division by the 
morning of October 16, 1918, and in the meantime to place one 
brigade at the disposal of the G. 0. C. Fifty-sixth Division to be 
used in following up the enemy. On October 13, 1918, the Tenth 
Canadian Infantry Brigade, which had been resting in Arras, 
was accordingly moved up to Marquion, and came into reserve 
under the Fifty-sixth Division. 

During the early morning of October 13, 1918, the Fifty-sixth 
Division crossed the Canal and succeeded in establishing a bridge- 
head at Aubigny-au-Bac, capturing the village with 201 prison- 
ers. At 10.00 p. m. the following night, however, an enemy 
counterattack in strength caused their withdrawal from the 
village, but the bridgehead was retained. The relief of the 
Fifty-sixth Division by the Fourth Canadian Division was carried 
out on the nights of October 14-15 and 15-16, 1918, without in- 
cident, and the former moved back to rest in the Arras-Haute 
Avesnes-Maroeuil area, coming into army reserve. 

Patrols of the First Canadian Division succeeded in crossing 
the Canal near Ferin, on its left brigade front, during the early 
morning of October 14, 1918, but, meeting strong resistance, the 
parties withdrew, taking with them some prisoners and machine 

Test barrages were carried out on the corps' front each 
morning to ascertain the enemy's strength and attitude, and on 
October 17, 1918, the enemy was found extremely quiet and did 
not retaliate to the artillery fire on the front of the First Cana- 
dian Division. Patrols were, therefore, sent out on that front 
and succeeded in crossing the Canal in several places, meeting 
only slight opposition. Stronger patrols followed and made good 

On the front of the Fourth Canadian Division, however, all 
attempts to cross the Canal were still met by machine-gun fire. 
After the FMrst Canadian Division had secured crossings, a bat- 
talion of the Fourth Canadian Division was sent up to take ad- 
vantage of these crossings, and, working dovm the east side of 
the Canal, cleared the enemy on the Fourth Canadian Division 
front, and enabled the advance to commence there. 


Farther to the right, at Hem Lenglet, the Second Canadian 
Division succeeded in crossing the Canal later in the day, and 
patrols were pushed on in the direction of Wasnes-au-Bac. Only 
enemy rear guards were encountered during the day, and the 
opposition was nowhere heavy, although more organized and 
stubborn on the right opposite the Second Canadian Division. 

By 6.00 a. m., October 18, 1918, practically all of the infantry 
of the First and Fourth Canadian Divisions and several bat- 
talions of the Second Canadian Division were across the Canal, 
and the following towns were liberated: Ferin, Courchelettes, 
Goeulzin, Le Racquet, Villers-au-Tertre, Cantin, Roucourt, 
Brunemont, Aubigny-au-Bac, Fechain, Fressain, Bugnicourt, and 
Hem Lenglet. 

During that day two armored cars, one squadron of the Cana- 
dian Light Horse, and one company of Canadian Corps Cyclists 
from BrutineFs Brigade, were attached to each of the First and 
Fourth Canadian Divisions to assist in the pursuit of the enemy. 
These troops rendered valuable service to the divisions to which 
they were attached, although the enemy's very complete road 
destruction prevented the armored cars from operating to their 
full extent. 

Throughout the advance now begun a great amount of work 
was thrown upon the engineers, and their resources in man and 
material were taxed to the utmost. The enemy's demolition had 
been very well planned and thoroughly carried out, all bridges 
over the canals and streams being destroyed, every crossroad 
and road junction rendered impassable by the blowing up of large 
mines, and the railways — light and standard — blown up at fre- 
quent intervals. The enemy also considerably impeded the 
Canadians' progress by his clever manipulation of the water 
levels in the canals which he controlled. 

Footbridges were first thrown across the Canal, and these 
were quickly followed by the heavier types of bridges to carry 
battalion transport and artillery, and in addition eight heavy 
traffic bridges, ranging in length from 90 to 160 feet, were at 
pnce put under way. On the front of the First Canadian Divi- 
sion on the left the enemy drained the Canal, and it was 


found impossible to complete and use the pontoon bridges first 

The engineers in the forward area concentrated their efforts 
on road repair, craters being quickly filled in, for the most part 
with material gathered on the spot and found in enemy dumps. 
In addition, the whole areas were searched immediately after 
their occupation, many "booby traps'' and delayed action mines 
being discovered and rendered harmless, and all water supply 
sources being tested. 

It was clear from the wholesale destruction of roads and rail- 
ways that the reconstruction of communications would be very 
slow and that it would be difficult to keep the troops supplied. 
Canadian railway troops were brought up, and as soon as the 
enemy had been cleared away from the Canal, work was com- 
menced on the repairing of the standard-gauge railway forward 
from Sauchy Lestree. The construction of a railway bridge over 
the Canal at Aubencheul-au-Bac was immediately commenced. 

The enemy retirement now extended considerably north of the 
Canadian front, and the Eighth Corps on the left began to move 
forward. JDuring October 18, 1918, rapid and fairly easy prog- 
ress was made, and the following towns and villages were 
Kberated from the enemy: Dechy, Sin-le-Noble, Guesnain, Mon- 
tigny, Pecquencourt, Loffre, Lewarde, Erchin, Masny, Ecaillon, 
Marquette, Wasnes-au-Bac and the western portions of Auberchi- 
court and Monchecourt. 

During the day the advance had carried the Canadians into a 
large industrial area, and well-built towns became more frequent. 
It also liberated the first of a host of civilians, 2,000 being found 
in Pecquencourt and a few in Auberchicourt. These people had 
been left by the retiring enemy without food, and faced, as the 
Canadians were, by an ever-lengthening line of communication, 
and with only one bridge yet available for anything but horse 
transport, the work of the supply services was greatly increased. 
This additional burden was, however, cheerfully accepted, and 
the liberated civilians, whose numbers exceeded 70,000 before 
Valenciennes was reached, as well as the rapidly advancing 
troops, were at no time without a regular supply of food. 


On October 19, 1918, the advance was continued on the whole 
corps' front, nearly 40 towns and villages being wrested from 
the enemy, Including the large town of Denain. 

The Twenty-second Corps, advancing on the right from the 
south, gained touch with the Fourth Canadian Division just east 
of Denain on the evening of October 19, 1918, pinching out the 
Second Canadian Division, which was then concentrated in the 
Auberchicourt area, where good billets were available. 

In spite of bad weather and increased resistance more ground 
was gained on the 20th, and the villages of Hasnon, Les Faux, 
Wallers, and Haveluy, with a large population, were freed. 

During the day resistance had stiffened all along the line. The 
ground over which the Canadians were advancing was very flat, 
and there was no tactical advantage to be gained by pushing 
forward, and a farther advance would also increase the difficul- 
ties of supply. In addition, on the left, the Eighth Corps had not 
been able to cope with the supply question and had not advanced 
in conformity with the Canadian progress. In view of these 
considerations, orders were issued that divisions were to main- 
tain touch with the enemy without becoming involved in heavy 

For a time on October 20, 1918, the Fourth Canadian Division 
was held up just east of Denain by machine-gun and artillery 
fire, and it was not until late in the afternoon that the troops 
could make progress there. 

Continuing the advance on October 21, 1918, a footing was 
gained in the Foret-de-Vicoigne, and the following villages were 
captured: Aremberg, Oisy, Herin, Rouvignes, Aubry, Petite 
Foret, Anzin, Prouvy, Bellaing, and Wavrechain. As on the 
previous day, all these villages contained civilians who subse- 
quently suffered considerably from deliberate hostile shelling. 

The First Canadian Division had now been in the line for two 
tveeks without having had an opportunity to rest and refit since 
the hard-fought battle of the Canal du Nord, and orders were 
issued for its relief by the Third Canadian Division. At dawn 
on October 22, 1918, in order that touch with the enemy be main- 
tained, the First Canadian Division pushed forward. Following 


closely, the Third Canadian Division passed through the First 
Canadian Division during the forenoon, on the left brigade front, 
about 9.00 a. m. on the line of the St.-Amand-Raismes road, and 
on the right about 12 noon on the line of the St.-Amand-Raismes 
railway, the Foret-de-Vicoigne having been cleared of the enemy. 
On relief the First Canadian Division came into rest billets in the 
Somain-Pecquencourt-Masny area. 

The Third and Fourth Canadian Divisions pushed on during 
October 22, 1918, and by nightfall Trith St.-Leger, La Vignoble, 
La Sentinelle, Waast-le-Haut, Beauvrages, Bruay, and practically 
the whole of the large forest of Raismes, were in their hands. 
On the left brigade front of the Fourth Canadian Division the 
Canal-de-PEscaut had been reached in places. A very large 
a^ea northeast of Valenciennes and a smaller area to the south- 
west had been flooded, and to the west of the city the Canal it- 
self provided a serious obstacle. To the southwest, beyond the 
flooded area, Mont Houy and the Famars Ridge made a natural 
line of defense. 

The divisions continued to push forward in the face of steadily 
increasing opposition, and by October 25, 1918, had reached the 
Canal and the western edge of the inundated area along the 
whole corps front. 

The Canadian troops had had a very arduous pursuit and the 
railhead for supplies and ammunition was still very far to the 
rear. It was therefore decided that they should make good the 
west bank of the Canal and stand fast until the flanking corps 
had made progress. 

Attempts to cross the Canal proved that the enemy was hold- 
ing in strength a naturally strong position, and it was ordered 
that no crossing in force would be attempted without reference 
to corps headquarters. The engineers established dumps of 
material well forward on selected sites so that the bridges neces- 
sary to cross the Canal on the resumption of the advance could 
be constructed without delay. 

It had become apparent that, unless the enemy withdrew, 
Valenciennes could only be taken from the south. The Twenty- 
second Corps, on the right, had meanwhile succeeded in crossing 


the Ecaillon River after a hard fight and captured the Famars 
Ridge. They had, however, been unable to take Mont Houy, 
which commanded Valenciennes from the south. 

On October 27, 1918, the First Army commander outlined the 
plans for operations to be carried out in conjunction with at- 
tacks on a large scale by the Third and Fourth Armies to the 
south, as follows: 

The First Army was to capture Valenciennes; the operation 
to be carried out in three phases, as follows : 

(a) The capture of Mont Houy and Aulnoy — ^to be carried out 
by the Twenty-second Corps on the morning of October 28, 

(b) The capture of the high ground overlooking Valenciennes 
from the south — to be carried out by the Canadian Corps 
on a subsequent date, probably October 30, 1918. 

(c) The capture of high ground east of Valenciennes — ^to be 
carried out after (b) above, probably on November 1. 

Valenciennes would thus be outflanked from the south. 

The Canadian Corps would take over, probably on the night 

of October 28-29, 1918, the left brigade frontage of the 

Twenty-second Corps (approximately 2,500 yards) in order 

to carry out phases (b) and (c) of this operation. The 

above attacks were to be carried out simultaneously with the 

attacks of the Third and Fourth Armies. 

In accordance with the above, instructions were issued to the 

Third Canadian Division to take over the frontage of the left 

brigade of the Fourth Canadian Division. The Fourth Canadian 

Division was, in turn, ordered to relieve the left brigade of the 

Twenty-second Corps (Fifty-first Division), both side slips to 

take place on the night of October 28-29, 1918, subsequent to 

the capture of Mont Houy by the Twenty-second Corps. 

The attack of the Fifty-first Division on Mont Houy on 
October 28, 1918, was not successful. In the first rush the troops 
succeeded in gaining a foothold on the objective, but were subse- 
quently driven out by repeated counterattacks. In view of this, 
the relief of the left brigade of that division by the Fourth Cana- 
dian Division was postponed. During the night of October 28- 

JIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIMIHIIIIIIIIIIIIIillllllllllllllllllllliilllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll Illlllll 



29, 1918, however, the Third Canadian Division relieved the left 
brigade of the Fourth Canadian Division. 

Orders were received that the Canadian Corps was to carry 
out all three phases of the operations against Valenciennes in 
conjunction with attacks of the Twenty-second Corps. Accord- 
ingly, the Fourth Canadian Division was ordered to relieve the 
left brigade of the Fifty-first Division during the night of 
October 29-30, 1918, on the line then held, and to be prepared to 
carry out the attack on the morning of November 1, 1918. 

In conjunction with the attack the Third Canadian Division 
was ordered to cross the Canal and the inundated area on its 
front, and establish a bridgehead to enable the engineers to 
reconstruct the bridges leading into the city. 

In the short period available, elaborate preparations were 
made for the support of the attack. The position was eminently 
suitable for the use of enfilade as well as frontal fire, the general 
direction of the attack on Mont Houy being parallel to our front, 
and full advantage of this was taken in arranging the artillery 
and machine-gun barrages. 

The application of heavy artillery fire was restricted because 
the enemy had retained many civilians in Valenciennes and the 
adjoining villages. Strict orders were issued that the city and 
villages were not to be bombarded, with the exception of a row 
of houses on the eastern side of the Canal which were occupied 
by a large number of machine guns. To hinder the good observa- 
tion which the enemy would otherwise have been able to enjoy 
from the city and villages, very elaborate arrangements were 
made to place heavy smoke screens along certain areas. 

Despite great difiiculties of transport, the supplies of ammuni- 
tion, bridging material, etc., moved forward were sufficient, and 
before dawni on November 1, 1918, all preparations were com- 

At 5.15 a. m., November 1, 1918, the attack was launched, and 
from the first went entirely according to plan on the Canadian 
Corps front. The enemy barrage dropped quickly and was very 
heavy, but shortly afterward slackened down under the influence 
of efficient counterbattery fire. In the meantime the attacking 

War St. 8— AAc 


infantry got well away, advancing under a most excellent barrage 
and reaching their objective, the line of the Valenciennes-Mau- 
beuge railway, on time right behind the barrage. 

The fighting during the advance was heavy, especially around 
the houses along the Famars- Valenciennes road and in Aulnoy. 

The thoroughness of the preparations made for this small but 
important battle is better illustrated by the following striking 
figures : 

Number of enemy dead buried, over 800 

Prisoners captured, over 1,300 

(Exceeding the number of assaulting troops.) 
Canadian casualties (approximate), 80 killed and 300 wounded. 

On the left, the left brigade of the Fourth Canadian Division 
and the Third Canadian Division had, in the meantime, suc- 
ceeded in crossing the Canal. Bridgeheads were established 
north of the city, the station and railway yards were seized, and 
the engineers commenced the construction of bridges. 

The enemy did not counterattack against the Canadian Corps 
during the day, but continued to hold out strongly in the south- 
em outskirts of Valenciennes and Marly, and in the steel works 
to the southeast until dark. Two counterattacks against the 
Twenty-second Corps front on the right caused some anxiety, 
but that flank was strengthened and no trouble developed. 

During the night the Fourth Canadian Division took over an 
additional brigade frontage from the Forty-ninth Divisioi 
(Twenty-second Corps) on the right preparatory to the capture 
of the high ground east of Marly. 

Patrols of the Fourth Canadian Division pushed forward dur- 
ing the night and ascertained that the enemy was withdrawing. 
In the early morning the Canadian troops had completely cleared 
Valenciennes and Marly, and patrols had entered St.-Saulve. 

The advance was continued in the face of stubborn resistance 
from enemy rear guards throughout November 2, 1918, on the 
whole corps front, and by nightfall had reached the line Marly- 
St-Saulve-Bas Amarais-Raucoiirt Chateau, all inclusive. On the 
front of the Third Canadian Division the advance was partic- 
ularly difficult, the country being under water except where 


railway embankments, slag heaps, and houses stood up out of the 
flood and afforded excellent cover for enemy machine gunners 
and riflemen. 

Some stiff fighting took place when the advance was continued 
on November 3, 1918, but in spite of this good progress was made, 
especially on the right on the front of the Eleventh Canadian 
Infantry Brigade (Brigadier General V. W. Odium), where the 
line was advanced 3,000 yards and the village of Estreux cap- 
tured. Progress on the left was necessarily slower owing to the 
flooded nature of the ground. 

The front of the Third Canadian Division had now become 
very extended, and on the night of November 3-4 a portion of it, 
from Odomez to Fresnes — about a mile in extent — was handed 
over to the Fifty-second Division of the Eighth Corps. 

On November 4, 1918, the line was carried forward about two 
miles on the front of the Fourth Canadian Division. The Third 
Canadian Division was still forcing its way through marsh and 
water, and made good the Vicq-Thiers railway. On the extreme 
left of the Third Canadian Division a strong point east of the 
Canal-de-FEscaut was captured and the Escaupont-Quievrechain 
railway bridge was taken. The village of Onnaing and the 
western part of Rombies fell into their hands during the day. 

During the early hours of November 5, 1918, the Third Cana- 
dian Division entered the town of Vicq, following the capture 
of two points of local tactical importance west of the town. A 
large portion of the line of the Escaupont-Quievrechain railway 
was also made good, and the northern part of Quarouble captured 
during the day. 

The Fourth Canadian Division attacked on November 5, 1918, 
and clearing Rombies and the southern part of Quarouble, crossed 
the river Aunelle between Rombies and Marchipont, the enemy 
fighting very stubbornly to prevent their crossing. By this ad- 
vance the first troops of the Canadian Corps crossed into Belgian 
territory, the Aunelle River being the boundary at that point. 

The advance was resumed on November 6, 1918, and important 
progress was made. The villages of Marchipont, Baisieux, and 
the southern portion of Quievrechain were taken by the Fourth 


Canadian Division while the Third Canadian Division took the 
railway station and glassworks at Quievrechain and the northern 
part of the village, and also captured Crespin farther north. 

The enemy's resistance was very stubborn. The Twenty- 
second Corps on the right were forced to give up a portion of 
the ground gained and to withdraw to the west bank of Honelle 
River at Angre, in the face of severe counterattacks. 

The Second Canadian Division relieved the Canadian Division 
during the night of 6-7, and the latter was withdrawn to rest 
in the Anzin-Aubry area, just west of Valenciennes. 

On their right the Canadians were now getting into the heart 
of the Belgian coal district — a thickly populated area — where the 
numerous towns and villages, the coal mines, and the command- 
ing slag heaps complicated the task. 

The Second and Third Canadian Divisions attacked on the 
morning of November 7, 1918, and, although by this time the 
weather had broken and the country was rapidly becoming 
thoroughly water-logged, good progress was made during the 
day, the enemy showing increasing signs of demoralization. 

The Second Canadian Division, on the right, cleared the re- 
mainder of Baisieux, captured the sugar refinery northeast of 
that town, the town of Elouges, and the many small settlements 
that surrounded it. In conjunction with the Third Canadian 
Division Quievrain was taken, and an advance of about two and a 
half miles was made. On the left the Third Canadian Division, 
in addition to cooperating with the Second Canadian Division in 
the capture of Quievrain, pushed along the Mons road for about 
4,000 yards and took La Croix and Hensies, north of the road. 

When the advance was continued on November 8, 1918, the 
Third Canadian Division pushed troops to the north, and by noon 
had secured the villages of Thievencelle and St.-Aybert. Later 
in the day a footbridge was constructed across the Conde-Mons 
Canal, and under cover of darkness patrols crossed and a bridge- 
head was established. 

Farther south the Third Canadian Division had surprised 
the enemy in the village of Montreuil-sur-Haine and Thulin at 
an early hour, and these towns were quickly captured. Pushing 


on from here the village of Hamin was taken, and by nightfall 
the troops were on the western outskirts of Boussu. 

The Second Canadian Division met with strong opposition. 
Good progress was, however, made, and by midnight the im- 
portant village of Dour and the smaller villages of Bois-de- 
Boussu, Petit Hornu, Bois-de-Epinois, and a portion of the Bois- 
de-Leveque was cleared. 

Resuming the advance on November 9, 1918, the Second Cana- 
dian Division captured Warquignies, Champ-des-Sait, Petit 
Wasmes, Wasmes-Paturages, La Bouverie, Lugies, Frameries, 
and Genly with little opposition. The advance made by this 
division was over four miles through densely populated areas, 
the twin towns of Wasmes-Paturages combined having a popula- 
tion of about 30,000. By nightfall the Second Canadian Division 
was clear of the main mining district. 

The Third Canadian Division had on its left front crossed the 
river Haine during the night, north of Montreuil-sur-Haine, and 
later secured a further hold on the north bank of the Conde- 
Mons Canal near Le Petit Crepin. During the afternoon, further 
troops were sent across the Canal, and the villages of Petit 
Crepin, Ville Pommereuil, Hautrage, and Terte were taken. 
Farther west the patrols which had crossed the Canal on the 
previous day entered Pommereuil and Bernissart. 

The Third Canadian Division had also occupied Boussu, on 
its right, before daylight on the 9th, and rapid progress east- 
ward was made during the day toward Mons, the villages of 
Cuesmes, Jemappes, Flenu, Hornu, Wasmes, Quaregnon, Was- 
muel, and St.-Ghislain all being captured. The rapidity of this 
advance had evidently surprised and disorganized the enemy, 
although some opposition was met. 

By the morning of November 10, 1918, the Fifty-second 
Division (Eighth Corps) had advanced and relieved that part 
of the Third Canadian Division operating north of the left 
boundary of the Canadian Corps. 

The Third Canadian Division's advance on November 10, 
1918, brought the Canadian troops to the southwestern outskirts 
of Mons, while the Second Canadian Division had reached the 


Mons-Givry road, outflanking the city from the south, but, owing 
to the large number of civilians still in the city, it was not pos- 
sible for us to bombard the town. To the north of the Conde- 
Mons Canal, a further advance was made and the village of 
Ghlin secured. 

During the night of November 10-11, 1918, the divisions 
resumed their advance, and immediately after dark the troops 
of the Seventh Canadian Infantry Brigade (Brigadier General 
J. A. Clark) commenced to close in. The villages of Nimy and 
Petit Nimy were quickly captured and an entry into Mons by 
way of the railway station was effected before midnight. By 
6.00 a. m. on November 11, 1918, the stubborn machine-gun 
resistance had been broken and the town cleared of the enemy. 

The Second Canadian Division had, during the night, taken 
the Bois-le-Haut, a wood crowning a large hill on the southeastern 
outskirts of Mons, thus securing the right flank of the Third 
Canadian Division. The capture of this high ground forced 
upon the enemy a further retirement, and the Canadian troops, 
still pressing on, reached and captured St.-Symphorien and Fbg. 
Barthelmy by 8.00 a. m. 

In the meantime, word had been received through the First 
Army that hostilities would cease at 11.00 a. m. on November 11, 
1918, the armistice having been signed in acceptance of the 
Allied terms. 

To secure a satisfactory line for the defense of Mons, the 
Canadian line was further advanced, and the Bois-d'Havre, Bois- 
du-Rapois and the town and villages of Havre, Bon Vouloir, La 
Bruyere, Maisieres, St.-Denis, and Obourg were captured before 
hostilities ceased. 

Between October 11 and November 11, 1918, the Canadian 
Corps had advanced to a total depth exceeding ninety-one 
thousand yards (91,000 yards) through a country in which the 
enemy had destroyed railways, bridges, and roads, and flooded 
large areas to further impede our progress. 

To the normal difficulties of moving and supplying a large 
number of men in a comparatively restricted area were added 
the necessity of feeding several hundred thousand people, chiefly 


women and children, left in a starving condition by the enemy. 
Several deaths by starvation, or through suffering consequent 
to privation, were experienced in villages or towns which, being 
kept under hostile shell fire and defended by machine guns, could 
not be captured rapidly by our troops. 

The fighting was light up to the Canal-de-PEscaut, but stiffened 
perceptibly from there on until the capture of Mons, and added 
a great deal to the physical exertion caused by such a long ad- 
vance in adverse weather. The following table shows the aver- 
age daily advances made by the Canadian Corps in that period : 


From October 11 to October 12 4,000 

12 « 17 7,000 

" " 17 " 18 5,000 

" " 18 " 19 12,000 

" " 19 « 20 2,500 

" " 20 " 21 5,000 

" " 21 « 22 6,000 

" " 22 " 23 3,000 

" " 23 " 24 1,000 

" 24 to November 1 3,500* 

Prom November 1 " 2 3,000 

" " 2 " 3 2,000 

"3 " 4 3,000 

" « 4 - « 5 1^500 

5 « 6 4,000 

« " 6 " 7 4,000 

" " 7 " 8 3,500 

" " 8 « 9 11,000 

9 « 10 1,500 

" 10 " 11 9,000 

Total 91,500 

Between August 8 and November 11, 1918, the following had 
been captured: 

Prisoners . 31,537 

Guns (heavy and field) 623 

Machine guns 2,842 

Trench mortars (heavy and light) 336 

Over 500 square miles of territory and 228 cities, towns, and 
villages had been liberated, including the cities of Cambrai, 
Denain, Valenciennes, and Mons. 

♦Held up in front of Valenciennes till after the capture of Mont Houy. 


When it is recalled that since August 8, 1918, the Canadian 
Corps had fought battles of the first magnitude, having a direct 
bearing on the general situation, and contributing to an extent 
difficult to realize to the defeat of the German armies in the 
field, this advance under most difficult conditions constitutes a 
decisive test of their superior energy and power of endurance. 

It was befitting that the capture of Mons should close the 
fighting records of the Canadian troops, in which every battle 
they fought is a resplendent page of glory. 

The Canadian Corps was deeply appreciative of the honor of 
having been selected among the first for the task of establishing 
and occupying the bridgeheads east of the Rhine. 

A long march of 170 miles under difficult conditions was ahead 
of them, but they ungrudgingly looked forward to what had 
always been their ultimate objective — the occupation of German 


Officers Other Ranks Total 

Killed in action and died of wounds 2,559 48,557 51,116 

Accidentally killed ..... 5 8 13 

Died of disease 292 4,613 4,905 

Wounded 5,349 143,510 148,859 

Presumed dead 187 4,915 5,102 

Missing — 57 57 

Deaths in Canada — 2,633 2,633 

8,392 204,293 212,685* 

Total prisoners of war .... 236 3,493 3,729 

Repatriated 204 3,086 3,290 

C. E. F. — Siberian force- 
Accidentally killed 4 

Diod of disease 13 

Wounded 1 

Enlistments up to November 15, 1918 595,441t 

Sailings to England 418,052 

Sailings to Siberia 4,214 


♦Represents nearly 3 per cent of Canada's total population of 8,000,000. 
lOver 7 per cent of population. JFive per cent of population. 




WHILE the enlistment and equipment of the first contingent 
proceeded apace, all political ranks united for the war. 
Militarists and pacifists, fathoms apart in times of peace on the 
question of a Dominion navy, joined hands. Party lines, as in 
Great Britain, were instantly obliterated. Sir Wilfrid Laurier, 
former Prime Minister, and leader of the opposition in the 
Canadian Parliament, who, at the Imperial Conference of 1911, 
advocated the doctrine of colonial neutrality, declaring that 
Canada would not necessarily consider herself bound to take 
part in wars in which Great Britain might become involved, 
immediately threw the weight of his influence behind the Govern- 
ment. When the Dominion Parliament met August 19, 1914, to 
indorse Great Britain's participation in the war. Sir Wilfrid, 
after announcing that for the present all party lines had been 
abolished, said: 

"So long as there is danger at the front it is our duty, more 
pressing than all other duties on this first day of debate, to let 
Great Britain, to let all the friends and foes of Great Britain, 
know that there is in Canada but one mind and one heart, and 
that all Canadians stand behind the mother country, conscious 
and proud that she did not engage in war from selfish motives or 
for aggrandizement, but to maintain untarnished the honor of 
her name, to fulfill her obligations to her allies, to maintain her 
treaty obligations, and to save civilization from the unbridled 
lust of conquest and power.** 



Of the Canadian contingent he said it was the opinion of the 
British Government that the assistance of Canadian troops, 
humble though it might be, would be appreciated for their ma- 
terial and moral help, and would show the world that Canada, 
daughter of England, intended to stand by her in the conflict. 

Canada's Governor General, the Duke of Connaught, had 
opened Parliament wearing a general's field uniform in khaki, 
and reminded the legislators that England was asking for their 
help. Sir Wilfrid Laurier, in the speech he made, presented a 
motion proposing that the Dominion be prepared to carry out 
the duke's suggestion. The motion's seconder was the Premier, 
Sir Robert Borden, who said: 

"We stand shoulder to shoulder with the mother country. With 
firm hearts we abide the issue. The men who are going to the 
front from Canada are going as freemen from a free country to 
serve this Dominion and the Empire. We are giving our best to 
our country, and we are proud to do it.'* The press of Canada 
ardently indorsed the decision. 

I The Canadian Parliament immediately voted a war credit of 
$50,000,000, the minister of finance declaring that Canada was 
prepared to spend her last drop of blood and her last dollar in 
the defense of the country. This measure, the first contribution 
from Canada's war chest on behalf of the Empire, signalized an 
outpouring of gifts in kind, official or private, in rich profusion. 
From its storehouses the Government presented Great Britain 
with 98,000 bags of flour ; the Provinces thereupon followed with 
individual gifts of supplies. Ontario gave 250,000 bags of flour ; 
Manitoba, 50,000 bags; Quebec, 4,000,000 pounds of cheese; New 
Brunswick, 100,000 bushels of potatoes; Saskatchewan, 1,500 
horses, valued at $250,000; Alberta, 500,000 bushels of oats; 
Prince Edward Island, 100,000 bushels of oats ; British Columbia, 
25,000 cases of salmon ; while Nova Scotia at first offered 100,000 
tons of coal, a cumbrous contribution, which was later converted 
to its cash equivalent. These governmental offerings evoked no 
less handsome responses to the call of the mother country from 
many cities and towns, corporations, and individuals. Great 
Britain's sinews of war were further reenforced by $100,000 


from the Bank of Montreal; $500,000 from Mr. J. K. L. Ross of 
Montreal; a battery of machine guns from Mr. J. C. Eaton of 
Toronto; while Mr. Hamilton Gault of Montreal equipped and 
raised at his own expense a crack regiment composed entirely of 
men possessing war medals, and known as the Princess Patricia's 
Canadian Light Infantry, or more properly as ''Princess Pat's 
Pets." Having outfitted this force at a cost of $1,500,000, Mr. 
Gault did not take command, but joined it as one of its officers, 
while Mrs. Gault closed her home and left for the front as a 
nurse. Corporations also contributed funds for the war, and 
many employees gave a percentage of their salaries. 

The women of Canada raised a fund of $285,960, one hundred 
thousand of which was for military hospital purposes, and the 
remainder for a naval hospital. The Canadian Red Cross sent 
a fully equipped field hospital and $50,000 to the British Red 
Cross Society. The Dominion Government provided $100,000 
for a Canadian hospital in France. Farmers in different districts 
gathered vast stocks of flour and farming produce and sent them 
to England. The Canadians also raised their own Patriotic 
Relief Fund, devoted to caring for dependents of Canadians 
fighting at the front and providing a subsistence for their future. 
Eighteen cities raised considerably over $5,000,000 for this fund 
within ten weeks of the outbreak of the war. Montreal leading 
with $2,000,000, and Toronto with nearly $1,000,000, 

In the wake of this munificence came an increased depression. 
Before the war a temporary check had come to a long and un- 
exampled era of prosperity in Canada. An industrial crisis had 
set in, and the war brought it to an acute point. There had 
been an overstimulation of industrial enterprises; land values 
had been artificially inflated in the Northwest; and capital had 
been too easily raised. Capital now became scarce ; Canadian 
promotions were viewed with suspicion ; and some foreign invest- 
ments were withdrawn. With the war many Canadians, who 
were working and giving whole-heartedly for the Empire, saw 
their enterprises facing ruin for want of capital they could not 
obtain. The stock exchanges were closed. Shares in some of 
the soundest industrial concerns were almost unsalable; others 


were offered for little more than half their market price of a 
few months before. Canadian Pacific shares, as an example, 
fell to $1571/2 f a little over a year previous to the war they had 
reached $254. Government and municipal undertakings found 
difficulty in obtaining funds to continue public works, and in 
consequence had to discharge hundreds of men. A number of 
establishments closed altogether; others continued on curtailed 
time and staffs. 

Montreal felt an immediate depressing tendency on the out- 
break of the war. In Toronto the financial stringency caused 
by the war brought a more serious phase to the labor situation 
in that city than had ever before been encountered. All lines 
of industry were aflfected, and thousands of men and women 
paid off. The enlistment of several thousands of Canadians did 
not appreciably relieve the congestion in the labor market. ^The 
building trade was suddenly paralyzed owing to the inability of 
contractors to obtain advances from banks and loan companies. j« 
The same check to all manner of business enterprises and con- 
struction work was felt in Port Arthur, Fort William, Sault Ste. 
Marie, Winnipeg, Regina, Calgaiy, Edmonton, Prince Rupert, 
and Victoria. In all these cities the numbers of unemployed 
grew to extraordinary proportions. So, while military prepara- 
tions were proceeding without pause, the Dominion, Provincial, 
and municipal authorities and business interests had to wrestle 
with the industrial situation. In due time distress was relieved, 
new enterprises were initiated, wholesale economies instituted, 
and vigorous efforts made to restore financial stability. 

Canada looked suspiciously at the migratory Germans within 
her gates when the war broke out, but more assuringly at her 
settlers of German descent, who were not only domiciled but 
rooted on her soil. Of these Sir Wilfrid Laurier spoke thus in 
the Canadian House of Parliament: "They have shown more 
than once their devotion to British institutions, but they would 
not be men if they did not in their hearts have a deep feeling 
for the land of their ancestry. Nobody blames them for that. 
There is nothing, perhaps, so painful as a situation in which the 
mind and heart are driven in opposite directions. Let me tell 


nay fellow countrymen of German origin that Great Britain has 
no antagonism to the German people. We respect and admire 
them, but in the struggle for constitutional liberty which has 
been universal in Europe the German people have not made the 
same advances as some other nations. I am sure they will 
agree with me that if the institutions of the land of their an- 
cestors were as free as those of the land of their adoption, this 
cruel war would never have taken place." 

This sentiment brought a ready echo from Berlin, Ontario, 
which at least showed that that German colony shared the com- 
mon aspirations of the Dominion. In a cablegram sent to Lord 
Kitchener the citizens of this Ontario German settlement said; 

'^Berlin, Ontario, a city of 18,000, of which 12,000 are German 
or of German descent, proposes to raise $75,000 or more for the 
National (Canadian) Patriotic Fund. The German people want 
to see militarism in Germany smashed for good, and the people 
set free to shape a greater and better Germany." 

Pro-German sentiment undoubtedly lurked in these German 
Canadian communities, but it was quiescent and therefore harm- 
less. Hence anti-German sentiment, which became demon- 
strative and dangerous upon the declaration of war by Great 
Britain, did not direct its attention to the German settlements, 
but to the consulates. Those at Vancouver and Winnipeg were 
stoned by mobs, and the German and Austrian consuls were re- 
quested to leave the country. There was a fear of spies, and 
a number of unaffiliated Germans were arrested and interned. 

Then the popular imagination became scared by the remote 
possibility of an invasion of Canada by German and Austrian 
Americans. A feeling of nervousness over the supposed danger 
was reported along the Canadian frontier, though the fears of 
the border communities were accounted as groundless. The 
Government was fully cognizant of conditions along the border 
and military activities kept at least 40,000 men either mobilized 
or under arms in various parts of the country, composed of 
10,000 as guards for home defense and 30,000 in training for 
oversea service. The danger, fanciful or not, caused extra pre- 
cautions to be taken against any invasion across the Niagara 


River. Guards were stationed at Fort Erie, directly opposite 
Buffalo, and the whole river front from there to Niagara Falls 
and Queenstown was patrolled day and night by between 500 
and 600 members of the newly organized home guards — in auto- 
mobiles or on motorcycles. The guard on the Welland Canal 
was doubled. 

There had been occasional trouble with alien workmen at 
munition factories, some of which, incidentally, were hemmed 
in by three successive fences of barbed wire, outside of which 
marched armed sentries. A railroad bridge in the Northwest 
had been blown up. Later a sentry on guard at a lock in the 
Soulanges Canal, near Montreal, had been shot. 

Then followed an attempt to blow up the international bridge 
between Maine and New Brunswick. Here were sporadic 
manifestations which called for the services of the new home 
guards to protect railroads and canals, not only to safeguard 
Canadian commerce, but because any destruction of canals and 
bridges might seriously hamper the work of forwarding supplies 
to England. Much of England's food passed through the Great 
Lakes and the St. Lawrence, and the wreck of one lock by ex- 
plosion during the navigation season would be a serious disaster. 
After navigation closed the means of forwarding supplies and 
troops became even more limited. The Intercolonial Railroad, 
which is owned by the Government, was the only line extending 
to the Atlantic seaboard without crossing American territory, 
and for that reason was the sole artery available for the trans- 
port of troops. The entire 700 miles of its main line therefore 
had to be patrolled. 

When found, however, alien enemies were well treated in 
Canada. They were but little molested, and unless under actual 
suspicion were allow^ed comparative freedom, being only required 
to register and report at certain intervals. Detention camps 
were subsequently established for those suspected of plotting 
and spying and for those in want. Some Germans and Austrians 
succeeded in fleeing the country when the war broke out. A 
ticket agent at Montreal was tried for treason — an offense pun- 
ishable by death — on a charge that he had assisted them to leave 


Canada. German and Austrian workmen who did not leave 
were not permitted to depart, even to the United States, lest 
they should find means of returning to their own countries to 
join their armies. Most of them were unemployed; and as alien 
enemies were not supposed to be provided for by charitable or- 
ganizations, they were assembled in camps to protect them from 

Germany's attitude toward Canada was indicated in a state- 
ment credited to Count von Bemstorff, the German ambassador 
in Washington, regarding the scope of the Monroe Doctrine. The 
curious contention was therein made that Canada, by sending 
troops to fight against Germany, had violated that doctrine. The 
alleged violation was not very clear, unless, from the German 
viewpoint, it consisted in giving Germany cause for attacking 
Canada, which would at once test the effectiveness of the Monroe 
Doctrine. But this, the statement said, Germany had no inten- 
tion of doing, nor of attempting to colonize Canada after the war 
if she were victorious. 

Canada refused to take seriously this promise of Germany not 
to annex her. Most of the Canadian press waxed sarcastic, and 
those who dealt seriously with the German statement seized upon 
it as an excuse to beat the recruiting drum for the British army, 
especially the implication that, because Canada had sided against 
Germany, there was nothing in the Monroe Doctrine to prevent 
her landing an armed force in Canada. 'Tossibly he" (Count 
von Bemstorff) , commented the Montreal ''Herald," ''expects the 
United States will now go out of its way and tell him how cor- 
dially they would welcome such delightful neighbors on the Cana- 
dian side of 3,000 miles of unfortified territory." 

The unexampled conditions created by the war with Canada, 
of which the foregoing is a survey — her activities, turmoil, weld- 
ing of political cleavages, industrial sacrifices, benevolences, and 
needless precautions against unsubstantial dangers — merely 
featured her real achievement. This was the creation of an army 
in being for the European battle field. 




WHEN the war broke out in 1914, Great Britain looked to 
Canada for a supply of munitions as well as men. Not a 
shell, cartridge, nor fuse had ever before been made by a Cana- 
dian manufacturer. A new industry immediately sprang into 
being, assuming quite large proportions by the middle of 1915, 
by which time there were approximately over 400 establishments 
in full blast. From a modest output in 1914 representing a value 
of $28,164, the Canadian munitions factories piled up a record 
of production which stood at over $1,000,000,000 in value with 
the war's close in November, 1918. 

The Imperial Ministry of Munitions, which threw out its lines 
from London to obtain munitions whence it could, asked much 
of Canada and got much. *'Who would have dreamed," said a 
member of the British Government in 1915, **that Canada would 
have produced more munitions than any country in the world 
except Germany prior to the war?'* Of the projectiles used by 
all the British armies in the third year of the war, Canada was 
producing 55 per cent of the shrapnel shells ; 42 per cent of the 
4.5-inch shells; 27 per cent of the 6-inch; 15 per cent of the 8- 
inch; and 16 per cent of the 9.2-inch. In fact, when the Germans 
complained that the Allied armies were being munitioned by the 
United States, they lost sight — or did not know — of the fact that 
many of the shells they objected to as American really came from 
Canada. In addition to shells and fuses and related products, 
there v/ere vast exports of explosives and chemicals, metals, and 



spruce and fir for airships and other purposes. The war con- 
tracts which started all this activity were spread over a thousand 
contractors and called for the employment of from 200,000 to 
300,000 workers. 

The table of achievement, as it stands in the Government 
records, was as under 


1914 to December 31 $ 28,164 

1915 " 57,213,688 

1916 " 296,505,257 

1917 « 388,213,553 

1918 " 260,711,751 


Shells 65,343,647 

Fuses 29,638,126 

Fuse parts 16,174,073 

Cartridge cases 48,627,673 

Percussion primers 35,386,488 

Exploder containers 13,285,000 

Shell and adapter forgings 6,412,115 

Explosives and Chemicals — Lbs. 

T. N. T ^ 14,754,950 

Cordite 28,542,157 

Other (more than) 41,000,000 

Metals and Compounds — 

Steel bars 43,077,923 

Zinc 35,412,413 

Nickel 1,792,000 

Other (more than) 27,000,000 

Lumber for Aeroplanes — Feet 

Spruce 16,289,227 

Fir 6,801,324 

Other Lumber — 

Douglas fir 11,530,315 

Pine — various kinds and qualities 10,360,566 

Spruce 8,345,675 

This table bears a little amplification, more especially as to the 

disposition of the huge volume of lumber logged. Much of it, 

as will be seen, went into the manufacture of aeroplanes. A 

WarSt.8— BBc 


plant at Toronto, financed with British capital, but organized 
and operated by Canadians, manufactured 2,050 complete ma- 
chines, turning out 350 a month. The airships represented a 
value of $6,700,000, and required over 2,000 workers in their 
construction. The plant also provided a number of flying boats 
for the United States Navy. 

Canada's shipbuilding record was no less notable. Her yards 
turned out 103 vessels (45 steel, 58 wooden) with an approx- 
imate dead-weight carrying capacity of 367,367 tons. In addi- 
tion, the Department of Naval Service undertook to build a num- 
ber of small warcraft for various Allied governments. These 
little vessels were produced at various points on the St. Lawrence 
and the Great Lakes. For the British Government Canadian 
yards supplied 12 submarines, 60 armed trawlers, 100 armed 
drifters, 550 coastal patrol motor boats, and 24 steel lighters for 
use in Mesopotamia; for the French Government, 6 armed 
trawlers and 36 coastal patrol motor boats; for the Italian 
Government, 6 submarines ; and for the Russian Government one 
large armed ice breaker and some submarines. 

The outstanding feature of all the munition making was, as 
the table shows, the production of shells. It needed nimble 
feminine fingers to turn out the very nub of a shell, namely, the 
fuse. Consider the record of a huge factory near Montreal, 
which engaged in loading and assembling time and percussion 
fuses, completing in all 8,400,000. The work involved the blend- 
ing of fast and slow burning powders; forcing the powder into 
the time rings under a pressure of 68,000 pounds per square 
inch; assembling the fifty-two component parts which made up 
the complete fuse; the packing, checking, and shipping the com- 
pleted product. Women became expert in the work of fuse mak- 
ing, which meant being careful even to the 1-1 000th of an inch. 

*'A shell with a defective fuse," wrote one observer of their 
work, "is worse than no shell at all. It may fail to explode, it 
may explode in the wrong place, at the wrong time, or in the 
wrong way." Canadian women made fuses that made the per- 
fect shell. Not only in fuse making did they excel ; heavy work 
became easy when machines, at the suggestion of the women 


themselves, were changed in position. Finally there was no 
difference in the work done by men and women. Within five 
weeks of the time they first heard of a 9.2-inch shell 400 women 
in one factory were successfully turning them out, performing 
every operation from that subsequent to the fabrication of the 
metal to and including that of shipping. 

Before October, 1916, no women had ever worked in Canada 
as producers in a metal plant. There was a prejudice against 
employment of women. The need of shells and the need of shell 
makers dissipated prejudice and put women into Canadian 
munitions plants. At first they were given the light work to do 
and were set to tending a machine; work that required little 
intelligence on the part of the operator, but was extremely try- 
ing on the nerves. It soon became apparent that women excelled 
in work that required accuracy and delicate handling. 

Women worked cheerfully and long. In the time of greatest 
need there were 35,000 women at work in the munitions factories 
of Canada ; after the first call there was no shortage of women 
help. For various good reasons it was decided to give a badge 
without charge to any woman who worked for thirty days con- 
tinuously. For each additional six months' service a bar was 
added. In all, 18,999 badges and 8,032 service bars were used 
in Canada. They were earned as follows : One bar, 4,003 ; two 
bars, 1,135; three bars, 447; four bars, 84; five bars, 16; six 
bars, 2. 

In addition a commemorative badge was awarded to all work- 
men in the various plants who served continuously for a year or 
more. Far from disturbing labor conditions the entry of women 
into munitions plants aroused the most wonderful cooperation 
and enthusiasm and actually dispelled what might have been a 
serious drawback in "serving the man who serves the gun." 

It began with a Shell Committee, composed of honorary mem- 
bers, which was formed when the British Government decided 
that Canada was a good field for producing shrapnel shells, espe- 
cially as basic steel — the only steel Canada turned out — proved 
serviceable for shell making. The Shell Committee placed con- 
tracts on behalf of the British War Office, but the volume of 


business expanded to such a degree that the committee only gave 
place to a board directly responsible to the Imperial Ministry of 
Munitions. The work of this Munitions Board developed a num- 
ber of auxiliary departments, directed by business men located 
in Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, and Victoria, who handled 
enormous purchases of materials for use in munition making, 
supervised construction, conducted logging operations, and 
checked and rectified all engineering gauges. The forging of 
steel had to be arranged and the forgings and components dis- 
tributed to the machining plants situated in the various Prov- 
inces. Shipbuilding required the acquisition of much timber and 
supplies for the hulls and the construction of engines and boilers. 

These national plants were erected at Trenton, Renfrew, and 
Nobel for producing nitrocellulose, cordite, and T. N. T., with 
acid plants, and a factory for turning out acetone and methyl- 
ethyl-ketone. In the forging operations steel turnings had to be 
melted in electric furnaces, the steel thus subsequently produced 
being converted into forgings. The manufacture of aeroplanes 
for the Royal Air Force included a constructional section which 
built all aerodromes, machine shops, barracks, and officers' 
quarters at the various camps. The logging operations, which 
were conducted in British Columbia, produced spruce and fir for 
aeroplanes, and called for fleets of tugs which delivered the logs 
to cutting mills. Every kind of material that could be made 
available for war purposes was explored for by the Munitions 
Board in areas of natural resources hitherto undeveloped, with 
the result that industries new to Canada were established. One 
development was an extensive production of alloys used in the 
manufacture of high-speed cutting tools. Another achievement 
was the creation of the explosive and propellent industry. 

The manufacture of munitions spread over the whole of 
Canada, with the exception of Prince Edward Island — which is 
exclusively agricultural — and even invaded the island of New- 
foundland. From the first factory in the east to the last factory 
on the Pacific coast was a journey of 4,500 miles. 

"Steel," it was recorded, ''was purchased wherever it could be 
obtained. It was shipped 1,000, 1,500, and 2,000 miles to have 


it forged. From the forging plant it was shipped back again 
500 or 600 miles or forwarded 2,000 miles to machining plants. 
Other component parts were purchased from manufacturers as 
far south as Florida. They were sent to remote points in order 
that every Canadian manufacturer engaged in munitions con- 
tract might sustain delivery of finished shells." 

The policy pursued in all the complex operations thus briefly 
outlined aimed at the elimination of the middleman and dealing 
direct with those who performed the work. Raw materials of 
every description were purchased and passed on from one con- 
tractor to another, saving the contractor large investments of 
capital otherwise necessary to produce complete shells, and en- 
abling a proper distribution of the materials available to insure 
maximum production. Subsequently the war munitions business 
was placed on a competitive basis. 

All the work accomplished was due to the initiative of the 
Imperial Munitions Board, which was presided over by Sir 
Joseph Flavelle. There was, of course, a governing stimulus in 
all it did, namely, the needs of the war, which evolved the board's 
creation on broad lines when, in November, 1915, the British 
Government placed munition contracts in Canada amounting to 
$300,000,000. Manufacturers adapted their plants to munition 
making; thousands of men and women toiled at the lathe and in 
places of great responsibility and danger; patriotic Canadians 
freely gave their services when called upon with no other reward 
than the satisfaction of serving the state. The board's ad- 
ministrative staff numbered close to a thousand men and women, 
and of them Sir Joseph Flavelle declared that no body of men 
charged with serious duty ever received more loyal and efficient 
support. The same tribute was bestowed on the great home 
army of eager participants in munition making of all ranks, 
though, like the good workers they all were, they found duty its 
own reward. 

An important factor in the manufacture of munitions was the 
work of the Canadian War Trade Board. Its functions braced 
the supervision and control of the Dominion's industries, and the 
direction of all essential trades, occupations, and materials to the 


conduct of the war. It was especially valuable in reaching out- 
side of Canada for needed materials for munitions, particularly 
from the United States. 

The War Trade Board was bom of a crisis. Until the United 
States entered the war Canada had been able to obtain raw 
materials and half-finished products necessary in the munitions 
industry without difficulty from her southern neighbor. The 
situation changed when the United States began to conserve every 
raw material and product which could be used in the war. To 
present her case effectively Canada had to organize on national 
hnes. The two countries were not independent, American in- 
dustries needing nickel matter, asbestos, pulp, and power from 
Canada, and Canadians requiring pig iron, iron ore, steel sheets, 
coal, cotton, etc, from the United States. By both countries ap- 
pointing a War Trade Board composed of outstanding business 
men in both countries, and by means of a Canadian War Mission 
established in Washington, the two countries were able to pre- 
sent a solid industrial front to the enemy and still preserve their 
respective national interests intact. 

Drastic elimination of nonessentials was the first essential so 
that the railroads of the continent and the shipping of the world 
could devote their energies to carrying necessaries for sustaining 
the Allied war effort. The Canadian Board saw that no com- 
pany imported any material when stocks in Canada could be 
utilized for its needs. This was not only to fulfill its obligations 
to the United States War Trade Board, but to keep down imports 
to the lowest possible figure so that Canada's trade balance with 
the United States should be as little adverse as possible. For 
the same reason a number of imports were placed on the re- 
stricted list. 

Every day from all over Canada came anxious men and con- 
stant streams of letters and telegrams informing the board as 
to stocks of raw materials on hand, and explaining the needs. 
The War Trade Board undertook to see that the materials were 
forthcoming, if possible, and to secure them from within Canada 
or from the United States or elsewhere. It purchased and 
distributed tin plate in Canada, negotiated for the reopening of 


dormant blast furnaces and the construction of new undertakings 
for the production of pig iron, and obtained huge supplies re- 
quired from the United States. It controlled the sale, purchase, 
and use of platinum. It financed the purchase and allotment 
through the Wool Commission of 46,208 bales of Australian wool 
weighing 15,573,542 pounds and valued at ten and a half mil- 
lion dollars, as well as five and a half million dollars' worth of 
tops and noils from the United Kingdom. It had power to pay- 
bounties on the production of linen yarns in Canada. It also 
controlled the production and distribution of iron and steel and 
their products in Canada, and was empowered to take over and 
carry on the management of chrome ore-producing properties 
for a period of five years. 

The Board also served as a clearing house for industrial in- 
formation to manufacturers, keeping in constant touch with the 
various industries, either individually or through such bodies as 
the Imperial Munitions Board, the Canadian Wool Commission, 
the War Purchasing Commission, the Canadian Tanners' Council, 
the Canadian Pulp and Paper Association, and the Canadian 
Wool Growers' Association. 

Had it not been for the existence of such a body, there were 
many raw materials and products which Canadians could not 
have secured at all, as the British, United States, and Australian 
Governments would not have permitted their shipment but for 
assurances as to the use to which they would be put or of a 
substantial cash advance. The shortage of shipping made it 
necessary in some cases to secure a vessel to go to South America 
or some other country to get materials urgently needed in 
Canada, and only a government body could have induced the 
admiralty to permit it. 

The securing of steel plates for Canadian shipbuilding in- 
dustries was one of the board's most arduous and continuous 
tasks. Profiteering in steel-plate and boiler-tube stocks was 
sternly checked in the cases where complaints were well founded. 
Canadian steel companies were induced to make all the car 
plates necessary for the Government's car program. The 
pyrites exports were increased to meet the needs of the sulphuric 


acid makers in the United States. Nitroglycerine was conserved 
by restricting the content in commercial explosives. 

The conomandeering powers of the board were not often exer- 
cised, its authority to do so alone being amply sufficient to obtain 
the ends for which it was created. Most of the money made 
by the board was in connection with its wool purchases. The 
money obtained for the tops and noils from the United Kingdom 
it sent to the British Treasury. With the proclamation of peace 
the board passed out of existence. 



THE war left Canada, as it did other countries, with an army 
of demobilized men, able and disabled, who needed Govern- 
ment help to reestablish themselves in civilian life. For soldier 
citizens who were attracted by farming, an extensive land settle- 
ment policy was devised, and to a large extent its application 
solved one of the Government's problems in affording thousands 
of ex-soldiers the means of settling on the land, of which Canada 
had more to offer than anything else. ''The corner stone of 
Canada's industrial fabric is and must continue to be the land,*' 
said Arthur Meighen, M. P., the Minister of the Interior, ''and 
to utilize this heritage to the best advantage — ^to build into it and 
upon it as large a proportion as possible of the best blood and 
spirit of our country, thus solving a problem of reconstruction 
than which none is more vital in its bearing on national well- 
being — is what is sought to be achieved." 

The war, in effect, had created an opportunity for land develop- 
nnent by producing a colony of soldier settlers who readily turned 
to farming after their open-air life in the battle areas. But the 
Government was careful not to subject them to the hazards and 
isolation which the ordinary, pre-war settler had to face. Only 
land of good value, well located, and of such fertility as to insure 


profitable returns, was allocated among them. A search was 
made through the prairie Provinces for areas suitable for soldier 
settlement contained in forest reserves or held under grazing 
leases. The Government held a number of these reserves so that 
men whose demobilization was deferred could have an equal 
opportunity with those who were discharged first. Inadequate 
means of communication affected the disposition of immense 
areas of arable land, which would otherwise have been available 
for soldiers. But it was decided to develop and close in settle- 
ment only those areas that were contiguous to existing or pro- 
moted railroad lines. The Government considered it inadvisable 
to encourage the veterans of the Great War to settle on free 
homesteads at a greater distance than fifteen miles from market 
facilities. This policy was especially designed for soldiers who 
labored under some physical disability and who were in receipt 
of pensions, and for such settlers small holdings, close to large 
centers of population, were selected. 

Canada had early anticipated the problem of rehabilitating 
her returned soldiers. The Soldier Settlement Board was created 
long before the Armistice, and was in good working order when 
the time for demobilization arrived. Hence, when the stream 
of returned soldiers began to flow toward the fertile farm lands 
which the Dominion Government opened to them for ownership 
and development, the machinery for so settling the incomers 
was ready for operation. 

The Government not only settled soldiers on homesteads, but 
lent them money to stock and equip their farms and afforded 
them training knowledge. They could borrow up to $4,500 on 
the purchase of land ; up to $2,000 on the purchase of live stock, 
implements, and other equipment; and up to $1,000 on the erec- 
tion of buildings and other permanent improvements. This 
made a total of $7,500, all of which, except the $2,000 for equip- 
ment, was repayable in twenty-five years on the amortization 
plan. The acquisition of farm equipment was rendered easier 
by an arrangement with agricultural implement firms, who 
undertook to charge specially low prices to soldier settlers. The 
Government also employed experts to purchase horses, cattle, 


sheep, and swine at the best prices obtainable, and resold them 
to settlers at the price paid for them. Lumber dealers in the 
western Provinces undertook, by arrangement with the Govern- 
ment, to provide lumber at prices considerably below those 
charged the public. A soldier settler had similar facilities for 
erecting a home on his land, the Government providing plans 
for standard houses of four types, ranging from a modest 
dwelling suitable for a bachelor settler to more commodious and 
convenient six-roomed houses. 

Before the stage of actual occupation was reached in the case 
of settlers lacking sufficient farming experience, they were placed 
in agricultural training centers, especially equipped, where they 
obtained a practical knowledge of farm work, or else with 
selected farmers throughout the Dominion, who regarded them 
as students eager to know how to run a farm rather than as 
mere farm hands. The prospective farmer*s womankind, if like- 
wise unversed in farm work and house management, received the 
needful instruction from the home branch of the Soldier's Settle- 
ment Board. In order to enable him to tide over his non- 
productive period of training, the Government made allowances 
to a returned soldier both for himself and for the support of any 
dependents he might have. He likewise received free board as 
well as free tuition, and if engaged with a farmer was entitled to 
retain any remuneration his services yielded. While on a farm, 
representatives of the board visited him to ascertain his progress, 
so that they could determine when he was qualified to take over a 
farm of his own. 

The railroads, like the farmers and agricultural firms, co- 
operated with the Government in assisting returned soldiers to 
settle upon the land. A special low transportation rate of one 
cent per mile, applying to the whole of Canada except northern 
Alberta, was fixed, but the prospective farmer was not entitled 
to the reduction for ordinary journeys. The rate only applied 
to the soldier's first trip to work with a farmer, or to attend 
an agricultural school or to look for land, or for a return journey 
home to transport his family and chattels to his homestead. 
Choice of land and location lay wholly with the soldier, but was 


subject to the judgment of the board's land inspectors, who 
passed upon its value, and determined whether it was suitable 
for the purchaser and was worth the price. When an inspector 
approved the soldier's selection, the land was purchased by the 
board and sold to the applicant. 

Once established in his new environment, the ex-soldier was 
not left to his own devices. The board's inspectors and super- 
visors regularly visited him — ^to give any practical guidance he 
might require, while local agricultural bodies and individual 
farmers volunteered their aid to assist him and smooth his path 
to success. But a condition precedent to his establishing himself 
on the land with Government aid was that he must first prove 
his military eligibility and also reveal a capacity, during his 
tenure at a training college or with a farmer, for owning and 
operating a farm of his own. That done, the Government lost 
no time in smoothing the way for him. 

As to his army qualifications, an applicant must either have 
been a discharged member of the expeditionary forces of Canada, 
Great Britain, or of any of the self-governing Dominions, or a 
resident of Canada — who had joined the Allied forces at the 
time of enlistment. In either case he must have served outside 
the country in which he enlisted or in a theater of actual war; 
but he was also eligible as a discharged member of the Canadian 
expeditionary forces who had not served overseas, but who had 
become incapacitated from military service and entitled to a 
pension. Widows of members of both forces who had died in 
actual service were entitled to the same facilities to settle on the 

The Government's land scheme for soldiers proved a great 
success. By November 1, 1919, over 40,000 men had applied for 
the benefits of the Government's offer, and over 30,000 had ob- 
tained qualification certificates after receiving tuition at training 
centers or with farmers. The scheme as a whole involved an 
expenditure of upward of $100,000,000. 

Canada has regarded her returned soldiers as her wards, espe- 
cially the disabled. Gk)vemmental guardianship could go no 
further. Her scale of pensions, for example, is more than one- 


third higher than that paid by any other nation. Any soldier 
or sailor disabled in the service of the Empire became entitled to 
a pension if medical attention failed to restore his normal capac- 
ities for earning a livelihood. The pension was neither a gift, a 
gratuity, nor a reward for service. The Gk)vemment called it 
"compensation for disability suffered through the war,'' and its 
amount bore no relation to the calling previously followed by the 
recipient. A man totally disabled received $720; if married, 
the amount was $900, with $144 for the first child and $96 for 
subsequent children. Men totally helpless could also receive a 
special allowance of $450. The disabled received most of the 
pension fund, fully three-fourths going to them, while the re- 
maining fourth went to the dependents of deceased service men. 

There were twenty classes of disability pensions, according to 
the degree of the disability, which was the decisive factor in 
each case. No reduction was made because of the recipient's 
earning powers or because of his actual earnings. His physical 
disability, whatever it was — not his ability to support himself — 
determined the amount. He became a pensioner because of the 
loss or the lessening of a natural function of the body, and the 
pension lasted as long as the disability did. When the disability 
ceased, the pension also ceased. Medical reexaminations were 
made periodically so that pensions could be adjusted in accord- 
ance with the developments in a soldier's condition. 

The payment of pensions, which was undertaken by the Board 
of Pension Commissioners, involved an annual expenditure of 
$30,000,000. It developed a largely and highly complex business 
machine; which had its beginnings early in the war period, 
growing from a small staff of 34 members, handling 2,700 
pensions, to a clerical force of 1,300 and a pension roll of 80,000. 
District offices were established in the large centers of the 
Dominion to afford discharged men convenient bureaus of in- 
formation. Medical officers were attached to each office, also 
Government visitors, who were detailed to call on a pensioner 
at least once annually, A pensioner's fitness to remain a 
pensioner was thus ascertained, in order to prevent any im- 
proper expenditure of pension money. 


Then there was the war-service gratuity to which members of 
all ranks in the Canadian army were entitled upon discharge, 
after being in active service outside the Dominion. The pay- 
ment covered six months and served as a send-off to each 
demobilized man to enable him to live in comfort pending his 
settling down to a civil occupation by his own efforts or through 
Government aid. The gratuities were based on a sliding scale, 
dependent on length of service; but a minimum payment was 
also determined on. It was fixed at $70 a month for the service 
men without dependents and $100 a month for those who had 
any. Thus, sergeants, corporals, lance corporals and privates 
without dependents received $420 for six months, or $70 
monthly, and those with families, $600 for six months, or $100 
monthly. Where the scale of pay was higher than this mini- 
mum it was based on the rate of pay of rank and the length of 
service. The war gratuity was really a continuation of army 
pay for six months after discharge. 



AMONG the various voluntary war organizations working in 
• Canada, or among the Canadian troops overseas, the most 
extensive in its scope was the Canadian Patriotic Fund. It was 
a form of war relief peculiar to Canada, a product of public 
initiative, entirely unrelated to the Government, being inspired 
by individual sympathy with the individual needs of service men 
and by the intimate and old-fashioned neighborly spirit that made 
all men brothers in an emergency. As a Canadian innovation, 
arising from the Dominion's own particular problems, and re- 
flecting in a tangible form her characteristics as a nation, the 
fund was nation-wide in its workings, both in the source of its 
contributions and their distribution. It represented a voluntary 
'"drive" for money which continued throughout the war period, 


and its administration was no less notable than its collection. 
Throughout the Dominion there was a coordination of effort and 
sympathies on the part of the fund's dispensers, with a complete 
elimination of overlapping and its attendant waste of time, 
money, and energy. 

The Fund in every respect was a national organization cover- 
ing all the Provinces except Manitoba (which created a fund of 
its ovm), and its object was to assist, wherever necessary, the 
dependent relatives resident in Canada of Allied soldiers and 
sailors serving in the war. It was administered locally through 
committees serving gratuitously, who, while they acted on gen- 
eral instructions from headquarters, also had discretionary 
powers in approving applications and naming the amount to be 
granted. As to the semce of the Fund, from June, 1916, to 
November, 1918, it yielded an average amount of $900,000 a 
month for relief work and provided assistance to between 
50,000 and 60,000 families. The Fund represented voluntary 
contributions from everybody in the Dominion and reached the 
impressive figure of nearly $43,000,000. 

The dispensers of the Fund had one thought in mind. It was 
the home the service man had left behind him, with special 
recognition of the size of a man's family and local conditions 
affecting the cost of living, both being determining factors in 
the budget making necessary for the right and equitable distribu- 
tion of such a fund. It was an additional prop for the support 
of soldiers* families in the absence of the breadwinner, in that it 
provided a supplementary income to that allowed by the Govern- 

On enlistment the wife of every soldier received from the 
War Ministry a separation allowance, originally of $20, later in- 
creased to $25. She also received a part of her husband's as- 
signed pay, which differed according to rank. The two pay- 
ments averaged $35 a month, a sum inadequate for the upkeep 
of a home, and hence the beneficence of the work of the Fund 
in augmenting the income of a soldier's wife or other home folks 
to the level of the cost of living became apparent. It supple- 
mented the home income at the point of deficiency, adding to 


the Government allowance a sufficient sum to overcome difficul- 
ties of living due to local conditions and to the size of the fami- 
lies. Instead of $35 a month, a typical Canadian soldier's family, 
consisting of a wife and two children, received about $51.25 a 
month from all sources with the help of the Patriotic Fund's 

One of its prime objects lay in inspiring the sympathetic at- 
mosphere and attitude so necessary in war times. This object 
was achieved by reason of the character of the Fund's personnel, 
especially in local branches, where much, if not all, of the 
executive work was in the hands of warm-hearted, patriotic 
women, who did not spare themselves, but gave of their best to 
the cause they had made their own. 

''Keeping the home fires burning" had an appealing sound. 
The neighborly spirit which animated the giving of contributions 
kept the home fires burning in that the giving was not spasmodic 
but sustained, enabling a continuous expansion of the Fund. It 
was this "touch of nature that makes the whole world kin" — ^that 
made all Canada kin — which endeared the Fund to every Cana- 
dian, rich and poor alike, and alone accounted for the great 
response made to every appeal for contributions. Every Canadian 
regarded his participation in the fund as a personal promissory 
note; he felt that he was ''backing" the service man in a very 
near and individual sense. 

Once the monthly output exceeded the income. In 1915 the 
monthly output increased from $175,000 to $325,000, which 
showed how Canadians regarded the Fund. These were anxious 
times for the Fund executive, and it was at this time that the 
value of making the appeal Dominion-wide became apparent. 
Reviewing the difficulties of this period in handling the Fund, 
Sir Herbert Ames wrote: 

"As a rule recruiting was greatest in Provinces least favorably 
situated financially. Common service,, common sacrifice, the 
principle of giving money or men saved the day. By 1916 the 
needs of the fund were placed at $8,000,000. *Give till it 
hurts,' became the slogan. A systematic allotment of each 
Province's share of the total contribution was made, Ontario 


was asked for $4,500,000; Quebec, $1,600,000; Maritime Prov- 
inces, $700,000; and Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Colum- 
bia, $500,000. Every Province was subdivided; each city or 
town was asked to assume its share. Publicity was given the 
campaign through newspapers, posters, leaflets, buttons, the 
Speakers* Patriotic League, and skilled organizers of campaigns. 
The close of the year showed an increase of 20 per cent in 
demands on the Fund and an increase of 50 per cent in the 
amount contributed over the amount asked in the campaign. 
On New Year's Day the Governor General, the Duke of Con- 
naught, asked for $8,000,000; Canada's answer was $11,375,345. 
Since June, 1916, the fund has expended an average of $900,000, 
which is quite timely help to 165,000 individuals/' 

Following the campaign of 1916 the responses became more 
and more generous. The Provinces and the larger cities reached 
great heights in giving. But while individuals contributed 
checks for princely amounts, the bulk of the Fund was provided 
by the small wage earners. *This showed," said Sir Herbert 
Ames, "how thoroughly the Fund represented Canada's war 

British Columbia led all other Provinces in recruiting accord- 
ing to population. It was essentially a Province of wage earners ; 
yet its contributions to the Fund, sustained year after year, were 
remarkable. In the mountain districts it was the established 
practice among miners and smelters to contribute **a shift a 
month" to the fund. The town of Trail, with a population of 
4,000, contributed $50,000 a year, or $12.50 per capita. Ross- 
land, with a similar population, gave $36,000 a year. Headly, 
with a population of 400, gave $9,000 a year or $22.50 per head. 
Greenwood, numbering 600, donated $15,000, or $25 per head; 
Phoenix, with 1,200, yielded $18,000, while Silverton, with 800, 
produced $16,000 a year. In some districts the workmen in- 
structed the superintendents to deduct 3% P^r cent, or one day's 
pay, per month, from their wages. 

The response from sparsely settled districts was no less 
generous ; but there was a difficulty in gathering collections over 
scattered rural communities. They did not, however, allow this 


obstacle to deprive them from sharing in the good work, and 
accordingly requested their councils to levy assessments for the 
fund, whereby rural contributions could be gathered and equal- 
ized. The contribution of such rural council, thus obtained, 
represented the various individual contributions of the con- 
stituents and was voluntary. In this way the rural communities 
contributed in 1917 the sum of $3,000,000. 

Besides these collective efforts, there was scarcely a community 
that did not furnish examples of self-denying generosity by in- 
dividuals or groups, some of whom could not afford the sacrifice. 
The shareholders of an Ontario fire insurance company voted 
its entire dividend of $50,000 to the Patriotic Fund. Near Van- 
couver an old lighthouse keeper raised flowers and sold them to 
tourists, raising therefrom nearly $1,000, which he presented to 
the Fund. Among contributors who found their highest grati- 
fication in denying themselves in order to help the Fund were 
the Gaspe fishermen, lumberjacks from the Quebec bush, cheese 
makers, road makers, Indians, and an Eskimo. Nearly $12,500 
was sent in by Indians on the reserves. From HerschelFs Island, 
within the Arctic Circle came a gift of $20 from the Eskimo 
Chikchagalook. Canadianized people of German birth and 
descent were equally liberal. 

The "million a month" which the Fund organizers aimed at 
was approached by voluntary individual generosity like the in- 
stances cited and countless others. The nation-wide support 
given to the Fund constituted a free-will offering of the whole 
people standing behind its soldiers. It was a people's own move- 
ment, close to their hearts, and was successfully conducted with- 
out Government control or participation, an achievement in 
which the Fund's executives took pride, as efforts had been made 
to bring it under federal supervision. 

War St. 8~CCc 




T> Y the close of 1919, Canada had 20,000 ex-soldiers— blind or 
J-' maimed or otherwise disabled — under training in the arts 
of peace. They were mostly men who labored under such handi- 
caps from the effects of wounds and other ordeals of war that 
they could not resume their former occupations. The Depart- 
ment of Soldiers* Civil Reestablishment took them in hand after 
their discharge from hospital treatment and fitted them, by 
vocational training, for new callings that made them economi- 
cally independent. Meantime, the men drew pay and allowances 
from the Government ranging from $60 to $150, according to 
the number of their dependents. The expenditure on thi^ work 
of rehabilitating damaged men was regarded as a national invest- 
ment, as it encouraged the disabled soldier to become a worker 
and producer. 

Every ex-soldier, burdened with a disability to follow the 
calling he pursued before ne joined the colors, became entitled 
to vocational training, free of charge, in any trade or profession 
of his own choice in which his disability would not be a handi- 
cap. Universities, technical and agricultural schools, and plants 
of leading manufacturers — where industrial training could be 
acquired under actual shop conditions — became centers of in- 
struction. Provision was then made for both theoretical and 
practical knowledge, which was imparted in conjunction. Similar 
training was also carried on in hospitals and convalescent homes 
where the condition of the patients permitted. 

Vocational training was a new field of Government work, a 
sort of uncharted sea, and until disabled men began to flow back 
from the battle front the Canadian Government had little in- 
formation upon which to build a working policy. But the situa- 
tion suggested its own solution. The first obvious need was 
convalescent hospitals, and a chain of such institutions duly ap- 
peared from coast to coast. Then the employment bureaus came 


into being, and the recovering patients, equipped with the voca- 
tional reeducation which the Government instituted, made the 
hospitals sources of supply for the labor market. 

What was the status of a disabled man during the stage of 
convalescence and rehabilitation? He was taken in hand to be 
refitted for civil life. The Canadian Government therefore 
decided that he was no longer a soldier, to be supported with his 
dependents during his period of training on military pay and 
allowance. He became a discharged man and his maintenance 
was provided for as a civilian. The Government recognized that 
the duty of replacing a man in civil life as a useful member of 
the community was not a military function. To succeed as a 
civilian he had to be demilitarized, for the reason that while in 
service a soldier or sailor sank his individuality and lived 
under orders ; his return to civil life required his restoration as 
an individual subject to the obligation, like other civilians, of 
making his way by his own initiative. The demilitarization of 
a disabled ex-service man, who, anyway, had only belonged to 
the army during the war period, was therefore regarded as an 
important duty of Government. In undertaking his reeduca- 
tion, it "staked'* him for resuming a civilian pursuit, and in do- 
ing so placed him on a footing very different from his previous 
army status. The course of reeducation given to a disabled man 
nevertheless remained a reward of valor, but it was also a 
recognition of the needs of a nation at peace, which required 
that discharged men should be restored as far as possible to the 
fullest usefulness as civilians. 

Another element in vocational retraining was its formative 
purpose. A man was not "made over*' in the sense of giving 
him a new occupation. His tuition was not complete enough for 
that. It rather directed him toward a new field of industry by 
equipping him with the groundwork, and he had to have the will 
to succeed and to overcome his handicap if his actual reeducation 
and replacement in a suitable civilian position was to be accom- 
plished. The way was smoothed for his doing so by the avoid- 
ance of any compulsory scheme of reeducation. A man himself 
"elected" his course, though many disabled men needed guidance 


to protect them from choosing some line of work by caprice or 
impulse. In such cases a disabled man's vocational advisers 
endeavored to direct his choice in the light of all the informa- 
tion that could be drawn from his educational and industrial 
history. The essential thing kept in mind was that a man's 
previous education and experience should not be **scrapped" but 
rather made to form a foundation or background for his new 
occupation. Hence, a disabled man was trained when practi- 
cable for some new branch of his former occupation or for some 
allied or related occupation. 

. The problem was not confined to rehabilitating a man lacking 
a limb or eyesight. The blind, in fact, were few, compared with 
men suffering from other injuries, while the war cripple for 
the most part was a sound man in other respects. His physique 
survived his deficiency of limb ; hence he was not broken in health 
and his condition revealed nothing of the invalid. More than 
that, only a small proportion of the disabled men invalided home 
were suffering from the loss of a limb. Out of nearly 30,000 
who returned to Canada up to June, 1918, less than 1,500 had 
undergone a major amputation. 

A survey of the first groups of returned disabled men, more- 
over, revealed that most of them were able to return to their 
former occupations. 

The difficulty was not one of numbers; it related to the in- 
dividual. From the point of view of its complexity, the success 
of the project of providing vocational reeducation for new oc- 
cupations was dependent on the disabled men's response to 
the service proffered. Their immediate need was interesting 
occupation, as far as medical requirements allowed, while under- 
going convalescent treatment in a hospital. A wide range of 
opportunities for occupational work developed during this hos- 
pital period, and its value to the patient was manifold. From 
the therapeutic standpoint alone, any kind of occupation was 
serviceable to the mind and body. It was also disciplinary in 
that it protected disabled men from moral and social deteriora- 
tion — a danger always present during long periods of idleness — 
and it was of additional value to the institution itself as a check 


on the tendency to spoil returned men by overattention, active 
and interesting pursuits having been found to be the best anti- 
dote to such an inclination. 

The field of diversions was wide ; a patient could easily absorb 
himself in some task to the extent of his energies. The hospitals 
provided classrooms for general educational work; commercial 
training workshops for arts and crafts ; a variety of mechanical 
and other occupations, outdoor work in gardening and poultry- 

A number of men who started training courses in new callings 
did not continue them. Some were ambitious men whom the new 
training had readily stabilized for civil life and who had found 
positions before completing their courses. Others were released 
during the summer months for intensive farming to meet the 
urgent demand for greater food production. The clerical work 
of the military department also absorbed a large number, inter- 
rupting the pursuit of their commercial studies. A recurrence 
of their malady invalidated others and necessitated hospital at- 
tention, and beyond these were a proportion of unstable men 
of restless temperament who could not readily resume civilian 

Over and above these were disabled men here and there who 
displayed an unwillingness to study for new callings, fearing 
that overcoming their handicap would mean a curtailment of 
pension by increasing their earning power. Injured French 
and German soldiers had revealed a similar indisposition to 
undergo vocational retraining lest their pensions be withdrawn. 
The Canadian Government took an indulgent view of this feeling 
and adopted a new army regulation providing that no deductions 
should be made from the amount of pension awarded owing to a 
pensioner undertaking work or qualifying himself in a new in- 
dustry. As already indicated, a man was pensioned because of 
his disability in the open labor market, and was not determined 
by his earning capacity. As it worked out, his earning power 
in many cases was greatly improved by his vocational reeduca- 
tion — ^to his own advantage, but even more so to the advantage 
of his country. 


The Canadian Government was early in the field in taking 
steps for the rehabilitation of the disabled, having provided 
working solutions to the problem long before the InteralHed 
Conference considered the subject in 1918. The task grew 
beyond the scope of the Military Hospitals Commission, and a 
permanent ministry was found necessary. Especially as the work, 
following demobilization, also embraced caring for the undis- 
abled discharged soldier in search of opportunity for reemploy- 
ment. Free employment offices were opened in every center 
from the Atlantic to the Pacific and thither thousands of requests 
came from ex-soldiers for information as to channels open for 
obtaining positions. The result was some 200,000 or more inter- 
views, and the reinstating of nearly 35,000 men up to September, 
1919, out of 53,000 applicants. This scheme of reestablishing 
uninjured men in civil occupation following their demobilization 
had its beginning in a questionnaire sent to all Canadian troops 
abroad, asking them to state their intentions regarding employ- 
ment on their return to Canada. The questionnaires were dis- 
tributed from Ypres to the Vosges Mountains, from the Rhine 
to the English Channel, and throughout England and Scotland. 
Within two weeks of the signing of the Armistice a complete 
survey of the employment situation was obtained and trans- 
mitted to Government agencies in charge of the dispersal areas 
in Canada. 

It was all part of a publicity campaign for enlightening the 
troops as to what the Government was prepared to do for them 
to facilitate their reinstatement in civil life. Lectures were 
delivered to them in camp, thousands of specially prepared 
pamphlets were distributed among them, while the Government's 
plans were otherwise made known through advertisments in 
newspapers and periodicals which circulated among the troops, 
as well as by means of moving pictures. Government repre- 
sentatives also accompanied men on homeward transports and 
dispensed information regarding the outlook for employment in 
the field that appealed to them. 

With the help of the Labor Department the free employment 
offices were established in eighty-nine cities and towns. Each 



office had a special representative of the Information and Service 
Branch of the Department of Soldiers' Civil Reestablishment^ 
who was at the service of all demobilized soldiers seeking em- 
ployment. He "connected the wires," opening up communica- 
tions with employers of labor and inducing them to favor ex- 
soldiers in filling vacancies on their staffs. Once in emplojmient, 
the demobilized soldier was not lost sight of. The department 
kept in touch with him, in order to be assured that every man 
had been satisfactorily reestablished in civil life. The governing 
element behind these endeavors to restore every ex-soldier to 
the place where he belonged as a civilian was to make him again 
a producing power in the national life of the Dominion. Success 
could not have been achieved without public cooperation. 

Another function of the department was the tendering of free 
medical service. All ex-soldiers who fell ill from any cause, 
within a year after their discharge from the army, received free 
treatment. Any recurrence of illness arising from war injuries 
entitled ex-soldiers to the same aid. Maimed men needed arti- 
ficial limbs; they got them free. The disabled, returning from 
the front, required further treatment ; the Government hospitals 
gave it. There were tubercular and insane patients; many 
medical and surgical cases of other categories; while other 
patient were treated in clinics. Patients under treatment in 
hospitals for disabilities due to war service always received 
adequate pay and allowances for their dependents. 

The postwar calls on the medical service of the department 
were very great. In June, 1918, the number of military 
patients numbered only 1,200. By September it had reached 
over 10,000. 

As to the provision of artificial limbs, the Government under- 
took their manufacture, in order to forestall the temptation to 
profiteer by private firms at the expense of men who had lost 
limbs in war service. The Government also made orthopedic 
boots and surgical appliances. 

Perhaps the most notable feature of the educational work was 
the establishment of the Khaki University. This project differed 
from the vocational training of disabled men for new pursuits. 


It aimed at reaching all Canadian troops overseas who had in- 
terrupted their studies at school or college to join the colors. It 
gave them an opportunity to employ their spare hours in con- 
tinuing the course of study for a professional or business career 
which had been broken by the war. Otherwise the time that 
would elapse, dependent on the war's duration, before they could 
resume training for their various callings, would make such a 
gap in their lives that with the war's close they would be com- 
pletely severed from their former plans for intellectual careers. 
They would have to begin all over again. 

The foresight of the Canadian Y. M. C. A. brought the Khaki 
University into being. But it had its real inspiration in the 
officers and men themselves. The "Y" officers were always re- 
ceiving requests from them for books and reading material of 
the kind required by students. There were also many inquiries 
from the men as to what life they should adopt on their return 
home. The Canadian Y. M. C. A. thereupon perceived a need. 
Men who had mapped careers for themselves, especially in the 
teaching and other cultured professions, not to mention those 
whose future lay in technical and commercial fields, must be 
saved for Canada. The men were keenly anxious to resume 
contact with the problems of civilian life. They had their spare 
moments, and there was much lost time to be made up. They 
had lived down the early excitements of army life, and their 
social and civic instincts dominated them when they were not 
fighting. So the Canadian "Y" personnel took occasion by the 
hand, and, with the cooperation of the military authorities, 
brought the Khaki University of Canada into being. It obtained 
official recognition by becoming a branch of the General Staff, 
and started out on its novel educational scheme under the guid- 
ance of President H. H. Torry, head of the University of Alberta, 
who acted as Director of Educational Services of the Canadian 
oversea forces. 

It was a simple scheme, though its operation called for much 
preparation, especially in securing the assistance of Canadian 
and English universities. In brief, it continued a soldier's school- 
ing, where he had left off, by class work and lectures. Apart 


from its service in providing practical education to enable him to 
resume his life's work, it greatly contributed as a sustaining fac- 
tor to military efficiency and the general morale. In many cases 
the Khaki University determined the future plans of men who 
had no fixed and satisfactory occupation, for by offering tuition 
it enabled them to choose and secure a definite calling in life. It 
so worked out that the educational work conducted in war time — 
there was a Khaki college on the fighting front and local classes 
known by the same name in England — created an interest which 
during the demobilization period that duly came intensified and 
enabled the men's readjustment to civil life in Canada an easier 
matter to control. 

The Canadian universities formed an advisory board which 
supervised the entire work, besides providing teaching facilities 
and personnel, while the Canadian Y. M. C, A., having started 
the Khaki University movement on its way, undertook to finance 
it to the utmost after transferring its control to the Universities. 
The scheme came before the Canadian Government in October, 
1917, and at once received the hearty support of the Prime 
Minister and members of his Cabinet. It obtained a support as 
valuable from the Canadian people, who, when asked by the 
Y. M. C. A. to subscribe a million dollars to finance the work, 
promptly responded by giving a great deal more. 

In France what became known as the Khaki University of 
Vimy Ridge was established, but at the beginning of 1918 the 
spring offensive stopped further progress in the fighting areas 
until after the Armistice was signed. The main educational 
work was conducted in England, where campaign exigencies did 
not interfere with the movement. In fact, the demand for in- 
struction was so great among the Canadian troops there that the 
work could not be discontinued. In 1918 fourteen Khaki colleges 
came into existence, established at various points, with a central 
college at Ripon for advanced instruction, while battalion schools 
taught educational rudiments, including elementary agriculture 
and commercial subjects. The college courses covered the higher 
branches of agriculture, applied science, commerce, art, and 
theology. Students of advanced grade also had the advantage 


of completing their courses after demobilization at the chief Brit- 
ish universities. 

The work in France was successfully continued during de- 
mobilization, though with difficulty. The number of students 
who registered during December, 1918, will serve as a criterion 
of its popularity, the four Canadian divisions mustering 8,352 
registrants. For the benefit of men who could not attend class 
courses, a correspondence department was organized which 
reached Canadians in hospitals, forestry and railroad camps, and 
other places where local organizations were not practicable. 

As to general results, the grand total of registration for the 
final six months of 1918, during which the Khaki colleges got 
into their working stride, was 34,768, while over 100,000 books 
and 750,000 educational brochures and pamphlets were circulated 
among Canadian oversea forces. The teaching was almost en- 
tirely performed by voluntary instructors, chaplains, Y. M. C. A. 
secretaries, and by army officers, noncommissioned officers, and 
privates, who had previously belonged to the teaching profession. 



rpHE Canadian Y. M. C. A. early made its presence felt as an 
•*• auxiliary in the war. It penetrated Valcartier camp at the 
first call to arms in Canada in August, 1914, and with the first 
contingent that went overseas, sent six officers with the honorary 
rank of captain. Thus began the "service to the troops'' — the 
motto of the Canadian Military Y. M. C. A. — which extended 
from Valcartier to the Rhine, and from Archangel to Palestine. 
In Canada it had thirty-eight centers of operation, including 
camps, barracks, red triangle clubs, hospitals, naval stations, 
and troop trains. In England it had seventy-six centers — reg- 
ular camps and units, base camps, convalescent camps, and 


The "Y" officers had some difficulty in becoming affiliated 
with the British military establishment, where, being concerned 
wdth the Canadian contingent, their work lay. The British 
system did not provide for "Y" officers as army units. They 
acquired some sort of military status by their activities in the 
Canadian training camps in England; but there were army 
obstacles to their following Dominion troops to France. The 
British War office at length recognized them, but declined to admit 
them in the military organization. Nevertheless they got there. 
Each Canadian division was allowed a number of "Y'' officers 
and aides, and the services they rendered duly drew an admis- 
sion of their value from the British military authorities, the 
effect whereof was to endow them with all the privileges of the 
army establishment. The British were chary of "outsiders'* in 
the army, but the Canadian "Y" officers soon proved that they 
were indispensable *4nsiders," and were recognized accordingly. 

In the field the Canadian "Y" service became an enterprise on 
wheels. Consider its main purpose at the battle front. It was 
to feed, amuse, comfort, and succor the Canadian soldier. The 
Y. M. C. A. had ever to be at his heels. It served, among other 
things as a dispenser of morale. It was concerned about keeping 
the Canadian trooper braced up by supplying him with physical 
comforts and luxuries, and, when acceptable, with spiritual help. 
The "Y" contingents, therefore, had to keep on the track of the 
Canadian divisions, and were as much a mobile organization as 
the army it served. 

"Everything," said a government report on their work, 
"turned toward the fighting machine facing the Germans. Over 
there, in France, was the real struggle to keep the advantages 
offered by the organization at the elbow of the soldier. Grow- 
ing weekly with the increase of funds, the opportunities afforded, 
and the knowledge of the work required, the organization might 
easily have become too unwieldy for the rapid moves which have 
taken the Canadian Corps from Ypres to the Rhine in the course 
of its career. 

"It was the solution of that problem, added to the lack of 
transport consequent on the requirements of immense armies, 


which taxed the ingenuity and resources of the *Y'. It was a 
simple enough matter in general to provide for the needs of a 
corps at rest. That was merely a question of huts, marquees, 
tents, and determination. But when the Canadian corps moved 
— as it did from Ypres to the Somme, from the Somme to Lens, 
from Lens to Passchendaele, from Passchendaele back to Arras, 
from Arras to Amiens, from Amiens to Arras again, and there- 
after advanced, guns, horse, and foot, miles a day at times — it 
tested the personnel, equipment, endurance, and ingenuity of 
the *Y' to the utmost. It was not merely the closing in one 
place and the opening in another. There were always immov- 
able huts in the old place, and nothing but ruins in the new. 
The huts had to be left — for some other organization to make 
use of for the incoming troops — but the provision left by the 
predecessors of the Canadians in the new area was naturally 
insufficient to the needs of the Canadian 'Y'." 

Every army unit of sufficient size was reached in some way 
despite obstacles. The "Y" organization adopted a regular 
scheme of service by providing huts, entertainments, and read- 
ing and writing facilities, except in the few cases where detached 
units were constantly on the move. In running its canteens it 
conducted an immense retail business under all the disadvan- 
tages of instability. Stock had to be moved ; new housing found, 
and fresh supplies were always subject to uncertain and ir- 
regular delivery. In 1918 this vast enterprise on wheels, pitch- 
ing its moving tent, everywhere where Canadian troops (it 
might almost be said), stayed longer than five minutes, did 
$5,000,000 worth of business in its canteens; but to do so the 
"Y" headquarters' stores — a huge quantity of goods with corre- 
sponding equipment — had to be moved seventeen times. It had 
to keep pace with an army equipped with everything requisite 
to secure mobility. 

Imagine, for example, a "Y" officer with his stock of comforts 
and luxuries trying to keep pace with a Canadian cavalry bri- 
gade. Yet the service was so successful and appreciated that the 
cavalry canteens were handed over to "Y" management. An 
outstanding incident turned on a "Y" officer's lack of a convey- 


ance to transport his stock so as to keep in touch with the mov- 
ing brigade. The commanding officer came to his rescue by 
finding him a horse, an old buggy, and a man, and with this 
outfit he trundled along with a case of tea, two cases of milk, 
two bags of sugar, a tea urn, and some cigarettes. He would 
set out well ahead in order to be in at the finish, but could not 
choose his routes, the cavalry having to move at night to conceal 
its operations, and smooth going was accordingly not easy. 

The success of the "Y" men, in fact, was largely due to the 
facilities willingly afforded by the army authorities to enable 
them to keep pace with the troops, and the army*s cooperation, 
it must be added, was a recognition of the value of the "Y" 
service in sustaining morale. Both the British and Canadian 
military establishments perceived that the "Y** was needed. 

The men themselves took an occasional hand in an emergency 
to assist the movement of the "Y" service, an example of which 
occurred at Arras in August, 1918. The "Y" officer at the base 
was warned only a few hours ahead of the impending German 
attack, but had no supplies on hand for the free distribution of 
food and comforts to the wounded a "Y" service rendered after 
every battle. The supplies needed were at Boulogne. The 
drivers of the only two army lorries available had been on duty 
for twenty-four hours without rest, and the commanding officer 
refused to order them out to get the supplies in from that port, 
though he was willing for the drivers to go if the **Y'' officer 
could prevail on them to go as a voluntary task. The exhausted 
men were undressing, apart, to retire, when the "Y" officer told 
them of the approaching battle. 

"We've neither cigarettes, chocolate, hot coffee, nor biscuits 
for the boys," he said, "but there's any amount at Boulogne." 

It was enough ; to Boulogne, instead of to bed, went the tired 
drivers and their assistants, leaving the port at midnight with 
the needful supplies, and they were back in Arras at 4 a. m., 
a few minutes before the attack began. So that the "Y" could 
have the stores for which the fighting troops would be in urgent 
need, they sacrificed their rest and toiled forty-eight hours at 
one stretch. 


The Arras operations were typical of the steady fighting of 
1918, when the Canadian "Y," like the troops it cared for, had 
little rest. They kept right up to the front lines, always on 
hand with free comforts at those points where the troops could 
be best served, the "Y" officers at times even going over with 
the attack bearing chocolate and cigarettes. Some were of- 
ficially rewarded by the bestowal of medals and orders ; but their 
real reward lay in the unofficial thanks tendered them by the 
men themselves. 

The "Y*s" activities on the western front, both in the fighting 
and rear zones, were far-flung, but they extended farther — 
everywhere, in fact, where there were Canadians. Its brotherly 
hand reached Dominion railway troops in Palestine. Isolated 
Canadians with the mixed Allied forces operating at Archangel 
and on the Murman Coast in northern Russia also found 
"Y" officers at hand, the latter carrying on their Samaritan 
mission under the most trying conditions of climate and 

In the rear areas, away from the excitement of battle, the 
scope for the Canadian **Y" service was as great as on the fight- 
ing front and as equally needed. At base camps the "Y's" 
presence was conspicuous and its social-religious activities wide- 
spread. The familiar huts were there, with their canteens, 
entertainments, and reading and writing facilities. At the base 
camp of Aubin St.-Vaast was a Canadian "Y'* athletic ground — 
one not to be equaled in Canada — an ambitious enterprise built 
with the invaluable cooperation of the Canadian engineers. It 
contained, in one area, a football field, an outdoor baseball 
diamond, a running track of a quarter of a mile, three quoiting 
pitches, five tennis courts, a tug-of-war ground, a boxing and 
wrestling ring, a jumping pit, and fields for lacrosse, cricket, 
badminton, and gymkhana or mounted horse events. 

Behind the lines, too, were the railway troops and the forestry 
corps units — ^the latter being scattered over France from 
Bordeaux on the southwest to the Jura Mountains in Switzerland 
— who were not overlooked by the Canadian "Y" in the bestowal 
of its many-sided services. Units of the forestry corps were 


also scattered over Great Britain, from the south of England to 
the north of Scotland. Many were isolated from the entertain- 
ments and social diversions afforded by towns, and their situa- 
tion accordingly gave the "Canadian "Y'' great scope for render- 
ing the brotherly service to which its personnel were devoted. 
Their enterprise in installing rooms and canteens in thirty-eight 
scattered locations compensated for many of the deprivations 
incidental to such lone camps. 

Perhaps the most concentrated work performed by the "Y" 
behind the lines was not in France at all, but in England. It 
gave itself the task of keeping in close touch with the Canadian 
soldier during the months of his stay there. He might be in 
training or wounded or convalescent or on leave, or in stationary 
units such as the London permanent force and the forestry 
corps. Whatever his status, he was looked after. 

In the training camps, where the "Y" work grew rapidly, 
more than keeping pace with the extension of enlistments and 
arrivals, and where recruits, fresh from Canada, were isolated 
in segregation for several weeks, the Canadian "Y" provided the 
only facilities available for amusement to the immured men, as 
well as enabling them to buy things they needed. Their morale 
and spirits were braced by entertainments. The camps were 
located at Witley and Bramshott. At the former three concerts 
a week were given by professional entertainers in eight dif- 
ferent huts. 

Similar provision was made for the wounded in tiie Canadian 
hospitals throughout England. Concerts were given in wards, 
while at one establishment — the Canadian military hospital at 
Orpington — the authorities placed a theater seating 550 at the 
service of the "Y". 

The Canadians on leave made London their Mecca. Into 
London they poured, and they needed a rendezvous, a club, a 
home-from-home, and wholesome diversions. The Canadian "Y" 
personnel undertook the task ; that was what they were there for. 
The Beaver Hut, situated in the Strand, in the heart of the 
metropolis, and the most famous hut overseas, was the outward 
and visible expression of their activities. It became the center 


of Canadians. There the soldier's every want could be gratified ; 
there he left his kit in safety; there he dined, slept, played 
billiards, bought his Canadian titbits or his theater tickets (at 
about half the regular prices), read the papers and current 
periodicals, listened to an orchestra, or saw a play or moving 
picture, exchanged his French money for English without loss, 
obtained information about a multitude of things of which he 
was ignorant as a newcomer, and obtained facilities for sight- 
seeing trips about London or in the provinces. Most important 
of all, there he ate. The Beaver Hut had a spacious dining 
room, which provided as many as 4,800 meals in a day, served 
hi relays, at a price well below that charged by the most moder- 
ate of London restaurants. The meals were cooked and served 
by over 800 well-known Canadian and English women, who gave 
their services. More than that, the Canadian soldier could 
sleep there, though the space was limited to 180; but when the 
Hut lacked a bed for him the Canadian "Y" got him quartered 
elsewhere. Then if he was in want he was cared for. 

With the Armistice and the demobilization period that fol- 
lowed the **Y*' work was rather amplified than lessened. The 
troops had less to do ; the *'Y" officials had more. The American 
movement up the Rhine called for the provision of entertain- 
ments on an extensive scale, the troops having more time on their 
hands. There were theaters, and light and heat, and German 
orchestras to be requisitioned. Three large units were enter- 
tained in Germany — ^two divisions and the corps troops. Twelve 
theaters and fifteen canteens were provided for one division 
alone. For one brigade four moving pictures were nightly in 
operation, the men being entertained in relays of 2,500. Suppers 
and vaudeville were also among the diversions provided, while 
the canteens were so well patronized that in thirteen days the 
takings amounted to over $50,000. In Belgium a striking feature 
of the Armistice period was the free entertainment by the 
Canadian "Y" of an entire division at Liege, extending over 
two days. 

Amusements were also furnished on an extensive scale for the 
Canadians in process of demobilization in England. New camps 


':iiiiiiiiiM*iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii I Miiiiiiiiiiiiiiii 


were taken over in Rhyl, Liverpool, and Ripon, and a wider 
organization for entertainments was developed in sections not 
hitherto touched. 

The funds that provided such a colossal service came from two 
sources — Canadian contributions and canteen profits. Canadians 
at home gave liberally ; but the scope of the work, even with the 
great help afforded by their generosity, would have been re- 
stricted but for the aid derived from canteen sales profits. It 
was decided that no better way of applying the "Y's" profits 
could be found than in employing it to procure additional neces- 
sities, comforts, and entertainments for the Canadian soldier, 
and in providing him with physical, mental, and spiritual help 
which no other organization was able to give. 



PRIMARILY the Canadian Red Cross Society set out to aug- 
ment the work of the military establishment in caring for 
the sick and wounded. It acted as a voluntary auxiliary 
organization to the Canadian Army Medical Corps, and as such 
furnished all manner of comforts, over and above the supplies 
issued by the Government, to military hospitals and other units. 
It also held itself in readiness to assist the Medical Service in 
times of emergency by providing at a moment's notice any 
supplies which might be needed. 

But its help was not confined to Canadians only. British and 
French institutions were assisted. The needs of the civil popula- 
tion whom the enemy had driven from French and Belgian areas 
were not overlooked. Old and feeble men and women, suffering 
mothers and emaciated children, whom the Germans had deprived 
of the necessities of life, were among the afflicted who were 
comforted by its timely succor and sympathy. It took care not 
only of the wounded and sick, but of the tired and weary. The 

War St. 8— DDc 


Canadian prisoners of war were among its beneficiaries, as well 
as the refugees in the devastated areas of Europe, who needed 
assistance, especially clothing, in becoming repatriated after 
being freed of the German oppressor. Thus were many lives 
saved, breakdowns averted, much discomfort removed, and much 
suffering relieved by the aid of the Canadian Red Cross. 

The society had eight Provincial centers in Canada, and about 
1,200 local branches, and these formed its home organization. 
It collected $7,771,083 in money, and gifts to the value of more 
than $13,500,000. 

Its overseas organization at first was of modest dimensions. 
One warehouse with unpretentious headquarters in France suf- 
ficed in November, 1916, and there was only one Canadian 
hospital to supply in the early months of August, 1915. Then 
the organization, like everything else produced by the war, 
rapidly developed and became far-reaching in its scope. 

The French were early recipients of Canadian bounty through 
the Red Cross. Money and hospital supplies went from the 
Dominion to the French sick and wounded, and a depot was 
opened in Paris for receiving and distributing Canadian supplies 
to French hospitals. This was merely a beginning of the 
practical sympathy Canada was eager to show to France. The 
Red Cross subscribed upward of $100,000 for various French 
war charities. It presented a hospital to France located at 
Joinville-le-Pont, Vincennes, at a cost of $370,000, equipped with 
medical supplies and staffed by Canadian surgeons and nurses, 
and provided a service of motor lorries and motor ambulances 
for the benefit of other French hospitals. 

Money and supplies were bestowed on other Allied countries. 
The total grants made to the various Allies, including France, 
amounted to more than $500,000. Substantial help, embracing 
21,000 cases of supplies, was also furnished to the Belgian, 
Italian, Russian, Serbian, and Rumanian Red Cross societies and 
to the Wounded Allies Relief Fund. 

A glimpse of the activities of the Canadian Red Cross is af- 
forded by these extracts from the record of its principal work 
overseas during the war period : 


1914 — Canadian Red Cross supplies given to the following 
hospitals in France: Two casualty clearing stations with 200 
beds each; four stationary hospitals with 200 beds each; four 
general hospitals with 1,040 beds each ; six field ambulances with 
50 beds each; and in England, the opening of the Duchess of 
Connaught Red Cross Hospital with 1,000 beds, besides the send- 
ing of comforts to Canadians in other hospitals. 

1915-16 — ^Assistance given to the Canadian Army Medical 
Corps in England on behalf of 16,000 to 18,000 sick and wounded 
Canadians monthly. 

Aid given in the erection and equipping of huts and other 
buildings for five Canadian hospitals in England and five in 

Recreation huts erected, equipped, and maintained in the 
Canadian hut hospitals. 

1916-17 — ^Assistance given in France to five general and three 
stationary hospitals, four casualty clearing stations, thirteen 
field ambulances, and fourteen small hospitals attached to 
forestry, tunneling and other companies. 

Comforts distributed to 20,000 sick and wounded Canadians 
throughout Great Britain and to 21 Canadian and 130 British 

The transfer to the military authorities of four hospitals in 
England opened by the Canadian Red Cross Society. 

1918 — Opening of Canadian Rest Homes for nurses and 
officers* hospitals in England. 

The society had its fount and inspiration in Canada and its 
supply clearing houses, stores, and hospitals in England. In 
France it maintained an advance supply store at the Canadian 
Corps headquarters, whence its special transports carried what 
was needed to the fighting front, and, to facilitate the distribu- 
tion, stores were also attached to every Canadian hospital. It 
built large recreation huts as annexes to the Canadian general 
and stationary hospitals, as well as special wards for pulmonary 
cases. It supplied Christmas gifts to all Canadian soldiers in 
every hospital in France. It furnished musical instruments for 
hospital orchestras, provided special furniture and fittings w^here 


required, and opened a Canadian Rest House at Boulogne for 
nursing sisters passing through, which afforded repose and 
shelter to 6,859 nurses. 

As a source of field supplies, the Canadian Red Cross was 
a dependable dispenser which the military hospitals, dressing 
stations, and regimental aid posts always turned to for their 
requirements, knowing that what they needed was not only wait- 
ing to be forwarded at the first call for help, but would fre- 
quently be sent in anticipation of the need. When a severe action 
was in progress the Red Cross always had on hand the articles 
for which there was a constant demand by field ambulances and 
aid posts, such as dressings, special foods, instruments, socks, 
scissors, chocolate, pajamas, and even comfort bags into which 
wounded men put their small personal comforts. Even before 
troops entered the trenches their needs were considered, the bat- 
talion medical officers receiving a parcel of comforts from the 
Red Cross advance store. 

A notable feature of the hospital work was in gratifying the 
desires of Canadian patients who asked for various articles they 
needed. Nearly half a million parcels were sent to every hospital 
which cared for wounded Canadians in the course of the war. 
The parcels contained, among other articles, toilet requisites, 
cigarettes, stationery, games, books, sweets, fruit, and materials 
for work. It needed wholesale purchasing to supply this demand. 
Cigarettes in millions were bought, not to speak of eight tons of 
tobacco, 40,000 shaving brushes, five tons of fruit drops, and ten 
tons of eating chocolate. Those in hospital who were homesick 
were cheered by the arrival monthly of seventy-nine sacks of 
Canadian newspapers. 

Thus the Canadian soldier received tangible evidence that the 
people at home were ever giving and working in order that he 
might not be denied comforts in his need. Whether he was in 
action, or in a hospital at the base, or in England, or returning 
to his reserve unit, or taking his discharge on his native soil, he 
was the recipient of benefits from the Canadian Red Cross, 
though he might not always be aware of the tireless role it 
undertook as his good angel. 
















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June 28. Archduke Francis Ferdinand assassinated at Sarajevo, Bosnia. 
July 23. Austria presented an ultimatum to Serbia. 
July 28. Austria declared war on Serbia. 

July 30. Austrians bombarded Belgrade, and Russia began mobilization. 
July 30. Germany made demand for the cessation of Russian mobilization. 
August 1. Germany declared war upon Russia, and France declared 

mobilization. Italy notified Germany that she would remain neutral. 
August 2. German troops entered the duchy of Luxemburg, and Ger- 
man forces appeared before Liege, Belgium. Belgium refused the 

passage of German troops through its territory. 
August 3. The German Ambassador to Paris demanded his passports 

and the French Ambassador to Berlin was recalled. War was declared 

between France and Germany. German troops invaded Belgium. 
August 4. Great Britain declared war on Germany, and the House of 

Commons voted a war credit of $525,000,000. Germany notified Belgium 

of the existence of a state of war between the two countries. The 

United States proclaimed its neutrality. 
August 5. The Germans attacked Liege. Earl Kitchener was appointed 

British Secretary of State for War. 
August 6. Austria-Hungary declared war upon Russia, and the English 

Parliament voted an additional $500,000,000. 
August 8. British troops landed in Belgium. Portugal declared herself 

an ally of Great Britain. French troops entered Alsace-Lorraine. 

French and German troops met in their first clash in the Vosges. 
August 10. France declared war on Austria-Hungary. 
August 12. Great Britain declared war on Austria-Hungary. The Germans 

were temporarily repulsed at Haelen. 
August 13. Japan sent an ultimatum to Germany. 
August 16. German cavalry appeared before Brussels. 
August 18. The Belgian Government left Brussels for Antwerp. 
August 20. The Germans, unopposed, entered Brussels. 
August 22. Namur was besieged by the Germans. 
August 23. The Emperor of China declared war upon Germany. 
August 23. The Great Retreat of the English and French armies from 

Mons began. 
August 27. Namur was captured by the Germans. The Kaiser Wilhelm 

der Grosse, formerly North German Lloyd liner, was sunk off the west 

African coast by the British cruiser Highflyer. 
August 30. The Allied forces continued to retire in the direction of Paris. 
September 3. The French Government moved from Paris to Bordeaux. 
September 6. The Germans reached the high tide of invasion in France. 



September 12. The Germans continued their retreat from the Marne. 
September 14. Germans reached the Aisne and the Allied armies attempted 

to cross, in the face of bitter resistance. 
September 14. The Allies crossed the Aisne near Soissons. 
September 16. The Russian northern army was forced behind the Niemen. 
September 22. The Germans retired to Noyon. British cruisers Aboukir, 

Cressy, and Hogue were sunk in the North Sea by submarines. 
September 24. The Russian forces passed the fortress of Przemsyl. 
September 28. Japanese and British forces attacked the fortress of Tsingtau. 
September 29. German forces invested Antwerp. 
October 8. Germans entered Antwerp. The garrison escaped. 
October 15. The British cruiser Hawke was sunk by a German submarine 

in the North Sea. 
October 17. Russian armies resumed offensive operations in the east. 
October 20. The bloody battle of the Yser followed the attempt of German 

forces to reach the Channel ports. 
October 22. The German forces bombarded Lille, France. 
October 25. Germans crossed the Yser River near the coast. 
October 26. Gavrilo Prinzep and twenty-three accomplices were found 

guilty of the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his wife. 
October 28. The German cruiser Emden sank the Russian cruiser Zhemt- 

chug in the harbor of Penang. Germans were forced to evacuate the 

southern branch of the Yser. 
November 1. Five German cruisers defeated the British fleet under 

Admiral Cradock off the Chilean coast. 
November 2. Great Britain declared the North Sea closed to commerce. 
November 5. Great Britain and France declared war on Turkey. 
November 7. The Japanese forces captured Tsingtau. 
November 9. The German cruiser Emden was destroyed by the Australian 

cruiser Sydney. 
November 10. The struggle along the Yser River continued. Serbians 

defeated the Austrian army, capturing 2,000 prisoners. Russian forces 

resumed the offensive around Warsaw. 
November 15. The Serbians were defeated by the Austrian army. 
November 16. Belgians flooded the coast lands in order to prevent the 

advance of the German forces. 
November 19. German forces advancing into Poland were driven back. 
November 29. The Russians continued success against Germans in Poland. 
December 1. General De Wet, leader of the rebellion in South Africa, 

was captured, practically ending the rebellion. 
December 2. Belgrade was captured by the Austrians. 
December 6. Battle of Lodz in Russian Poland, which began on November 

19, was ended with an inconclusive German victory. 
December 8. The British fleet near the Falkland Islands met and de- 
stroyed the German squadron which sank two British warships on 

November 1, off the coast of Chile. 
December 10. A German submarine raided the harbor of Dover, England. 
December 13. British submarine B-11 entered the Dardanelles under the 

mine fields and torpedoes and sunk the Turkish battleship Messudmh. 
December 14. Russians defeated the German forces at Mlawa. Belgrade 

was recaptured by the Serbians. 
December 18. The German army approached Warsaw. 
December 19. The Germans were forced to evacuate Dixmude. 

CHRONOLOGY, 1915 471 

December 23. The Turkish army began an advance on the Suez Canal. 
December 24. The Germans defeated the Russian army at Mlawa in north- 
ern Poland. The entire Russian army began a retreat. 
December 29. Russian forces were forced to retire in Galicia. 


January 1. British battleship Formidable was sunk by a German sub- 
marine in the English Channel. 

January 3. The Russian army defeated the Turkish forces in the Caucasus. 

January 6. The Germany army continued to advance in Poland. 

January 16. The Russian army of invasion captured one of the passes over 
the Carpathian Mountains. 

January 21. Austrian forces in northeastern Hungary were shattered by 
attacks. General von Falkenhayn, Chief of the German General Staff, 
resigned the office of minister of war, and was succeeded by General 
von Hohenborn. 

January 24. A naval engagement between British and German fleets. Ger- 
man armored cruiser Blucher was sunk. Other German vessels fled. 

January 29. The Germans assumed the offensive in the forest of the Argonne. 

January 31. German submarines made a second raid in the British Channel 
and destroyed several British merchant ships. 

February 2. Wiener von Horn, a German-American, unsuccessfully at- 
tempted to dynamite the bridge across the St. Croix River. 

February 3. The Turkish forces attempted to force a passage over the 
Suez Canal and were repulsed by the British troops. 

February 4. Germany declared a war zone of the waters around Great 
Britain and Ireland, to go into effect on February 18. 

February 8. Russian forces were obliged to evacuate a large part of the 
territory held in the province of Bukowina. 

February 10. Russian army suffered a disastrous defeat in East Prussia. 

February 18. German decree creating a war zone in the waters around 
Great Britain and Ireland went into effect. 

February 24. Germans captured Przasnysz, in Russian Poland. 

February 27. The William P. Fry, an American sailing vessel, was sunk 
by a German cruiser. 

March 1. Great Britain and France announced their intention to prevent 
commodities of any kind from reaching or leaving Germany. 

March 2. Germany offered to modify her submarine warfare if Great 
Britain would also make concessions. 

March 6. Premier Venizelos resigned his office on account of the decision 
of King Constantine to the entrance of Greece on the side of the Allies. 

March 14. The German cruiser Dresden was sunk off the Chilean coast. 

March 19. The French battleship Bouvet and two British battleships were 
sunk by floating mines in the Dardanelles. 

March 21. Major General Sir William Robert Robertson was appointed 
Chief of the General Staff of the British army. 

March 22. Austrian fortress of Przemsyl surrendered to the Russian army. 

March 25. French achieved success in upper Alsace. 

April 4. German forces in Russia prepared for a great offensive. 

April 22. The second battle of Ypres began. 

April 25. The battle of Ypres continued. 

April 26. The German cruiser Kronprinz Wilhelm was interned at New- 
port News. 


April 27. The battle of Ypres continued with heavy losses on both sides. 
May 1. Fierce fighting went on in the Gallipoli peninsula. The American 

tank ship Gidflight was sunk by a German submarine. 
May 6. The Russian forces on the eastern front were routed by Germans 

under General Mackensen. 
May 7. The transatlantic liner Lusitania was sunk by a German sub- 
marine, with a loss of 1,150 persons, including over 100 Americans. 
May 13. The Bryce Commission on Belgian atrocities made public its 

report. The American Government protested to Germany over the 

sinking of the Lusitania. 
May 14. Fierce fighting continued in the Ypres sector. The Russian armies 

retreated before the Germans, barely escaping a rout. 
May 23. Italy declared war against Austria-Hungary. 
May 28. Germany replied to the American note on the Lusitania. 
June 1. Przemsyl was recaptured by the Austro-German forces. 
June 9. Italian troops defeated Austrians on the Isonzo River. 
June 20. Mackensen defeated Russians at Rawa-Russka. 
July 9. The German forces in German Southwest Africa surrendered to 

General Botha. 
July 12. The German cruiser Konigsherg was destroyed by British war 

vessels off East Africa. 
August 5. Warsaw was captured by Austro-German forces. 
August 10. The training of reserve officers was begun at Plattsburg. 
August 17. London was raided by a Zeppelin, killing ten persons. 
August 19. The liner Arabic was sunk by a German submarine. 
August 21. Italy declared war against Turkey. 
September 1. The (German Ambassador declared that no more passenger 

ships would be sunk without warning. 
September 2. President Wilson received a message from the Pope in 

relation to peace. 
September 9. United States Government asked Austria-Hungary to re- 
call Ambassador Dumba. 
September 25. The French and British began offensive in Champagne. 
September 29. British forces defeated the Turks in Mesopotamia. 
October 4. British and French troops landed at Saloniki aid Serbia. 
October 5. Premier Venizelos of Greece resigned after King Constantine 

refused to support the Allies. 
October 6. The French launched a successful attack in Champagne. 
October 9. Belgrade was captured by the Austro-German forces. 
October 13. Edith Cavell was shot by the Germans as a spy. 
October 14. Bulgaria declared war on Serbia. 
October 19. Major General Monro succeeded Sir Ian Hamilton in command 

of operations in the Dardanelles. 
October 22. The Germans inflicted a severe defeat on the Russian armies. 
October 25. The French made gains in Champagne. 
November 18. The British resumed advance at Gallipoli. 
November 25. The British retired to Kut-el-Amara. 
December 3. The American Government demanded the recall of Captains 

Boy-Ed and Von Papen, German diplomats. 
December 15. Sir Douglas Haig was appointed Commander in Chief of the 

British forces in France. 
December 19. The British evacuated Anzac and Suvla Bay, Gallipoli. 
December 29. Austria met American demands in regard to the Anoo7ia. 

CHRONOLOGY, 1916 473 


January 1. Fighting was renewed at the Dardanelles. 

January 7. German Ambassador notified the American Government that 
submarine operations in the Mediterranean would be conducted accord- 
ing to international law. 

January 8. Germany notified the United States that vessels would be sunk 
only when carrying contraband of war and that the safety of crews 
would be provided for. 

January 9. British forces successfully evacuated Gallipoli. 

January 25. The French carried on successful operations around Nieuport. 

January 29. Paris was attacked by Zeppelins. 

February 6. Field Marshal von Mackensen assumed command of the 
Austro-German army opposing the Allies at Saloniki. 

February 9. The Russians began a new offensive in Galicia. 

February 16. The city of Erzerum was captured by the Russians. The 
British declared that they had completed the conquest of Kamerun, a 
German colony in Africa. 

February 24. The great German drive at Verdun was repulsed. 

February 26. The Germans captured important points about Verdun. 

February 28. Turks evacuated Trebizond and other Black Sea ports. 

March 8. The German Government presented a memorandum stating its 
attitude on the submarine boat controversy. 

March 16. Terrific fighting went on around Verdun, 

March 18. Germans occupied part of the town of Vaux. 

March 24. The English steamship Sussex was sunk by a German sub- 
marine; many passengers killed, 

April 18. Secretary Lansing declared to Germany that relations would be 
severed if submarine attacks on steamships continued. 

April 19. President Wilson addressed Congress on the submarine issue. 

April. 22. Sir Roger Casement was captured on the Irish coast. 

April 24. A revolt broke out in Dublin. 

April 25. A squadron of German cruisers raided the English coast. 

April 27. Martial law was declared throughout Ireland. 

April 29. Surrender of British at Kut-el-Amara was announced. 

May 3. Several leaders of the Irish rebellion were executed for treason. 

May 5. Activity was renewed along the entire Eastern front. 

May 10. Germany admitted that the Sussex was sunk by a German sub- 

May 31. The British and German fleets met at Jutland; after a fierce 
engagement the German fleet fled. 

June 5. Earl Kitchener and many others were lost when the British 
cruiser Hampshire went down off the Orkney Islands. 

June 17. The Russian army entered Czernowitz. 

July 6. David Lloyd George was appointed Secretary of War for Great 

July 7. The British resumed the offensive on the Somme. 

July 11. The Germans advanced east of the Meuse at Verdun. 

July 22. Russian forces achieved successes in the Riga district. 

July 27. Captain Charles Fryatt was executed by the Germans for at- 
tempting to ram a submarine. 

August 4. The French gained successes at Verdun. 

August 9. Italian forces occupied the Austrian city of Goritz. 

August 27. Rumania declared war on Austria-Hungary. 


August 30. Field Marshal von Hindenburg succeeded General von Fal- 
kenhayn as Chief of Staff of the German armies. 

September 3. Allies renewed their offensive north of the Somme River. 
Bulgarian and German troops invaded Rumania in Dobrudja. 

September 14. The Fourth Greek Army Corps, with headquarters at the 
port of Kavala, was placed in the hands of the Germans. 

October 7. British and French troops in the Somme district advanced on 
a front of ten miles. 

October 23. Constanza, Rumania, was captured by the Bulgar-Turco- 
German army. 

October 24. At Verdun, French penetrated German lines to a depth of 
two miles, winning back the fort and village of Douaumont, the Thiau- 
mont field work, Haudromont Quarries, and Caillette Wood. 

November 2. The Germans at Verdun evacuated Fort Vaux. 

November 6. British steamer Arubia torpedoed and sunk in the Mediter- 
ranean; passengers rescued. 

November 13. British launched a new offensive against German line in 
France on both sides of the Ancre Brook. 

November 21. The German Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gottlieb von 
Jagow, resigned. Francis Joseph, Emperor of Austria and King of 
Hungary, died at Schonbrunn Castle, near Vienna, at the age of eighty- 
six. His nephew, Archduke Charles Francis Joseph, succeeded. 

November 29. Admiral Sir David Beatty was appointed to command the 
British grand fleet, succeeding Sir Jellicoe. 

December 5. Herbert H. Asquith resigned as Prime Minister of England. 

December 7. David Lloyd George accepted the British post of Prime 
Minister and First Lord of the Treasury. 


January 10. The Allied Governments stated their terms of peace; a 
separate note from Belgium included. 

January 22. President Wilson addressed the Senate, giving his ideas of 
steps necessary for world peace. 

January 31. Germany announced unrestricted submarine warfare in speci- 
fied zones. 

February 3. United States severed diplomatic relations with Germany; 
German Ambassador von Bernstorff was dismissed. 

February 24. Kut-el-Amara taken by British, under General Maude (cam- 
paign begun December 13). 

March 4. Announced that the British had taken over from the French 
the entire Somme front. 

March 11. Bagdad captured by British under General Maude. 

March 11-15. Revolution in Russia, leading to abdication of Czar Nicho- 
las IL 

March 15. Russian Provisional Government formed by Constitutional 
Democrats under Prince Lvoff and M. Milyukoff. 

March 17-19. Retirement of Germans to "Hindenburg Line"; evacuation 
of 1,300 square miles of French territory on front of 100 miles from 
Arras to Soissons. 

March 27. United States Minister Brand Whitlock and American Relief 
Commission were withdrawn from Belgium. 

April 2. President Wilson asked Congress to declare the existence of a 
state of war with Germany. 

CHRONOLOGY, 1917 475 

April 6. United States declared war on Germany. 

April 8. Austria-Hungary severed diplomatic relations with the United 

April 9-May 14. British successes in Battle of Arras (Vimy Ridge taken 
April 9). 

April 16-May 6. French successes in Battle of the Aisne between Soissons 
and Rheims. 

April 20. Turkey severed relations with United States. 

May 15-September 15. Great Italian offensive on Isonzo front (Carso 
Plateau) ; capture of Gorizia, August 9; Monte Santo taken August 24; 
Monte Gabriele, September 14. 

May 15. General Petain succeeded General Nivelle as commander in chief 
of the French armies. 

May 17. Russian Provisional Government reconstructed. Kerensky (former 
Minister of Justice) became Minister of War. Milyukoff resigned. 

May 18. President Wilson signed Selective Service Act. 

June 7. British blew up Messines Ridge, south of Ypres, and captured 
7,500 German prisoners. 

June 12. King Constantine of Greece forced to abdicate. 

June 26. First American troops reached France. 

June 29. Greece entered war against Germany and her allies. 

July 4. Resignation of Bethmann-Hollweg as German Chancellor. Dr. 
George Michaelis, Chancellor (July 14). 

July 20. Drawing at Washington of names for first army under selective 

July 20. Kerensky became Russian Premier on resignation of Prince Lvoff. 

July 31-November. Battle of Flanders (Passchendaele Ridge) ; British suc- 

August 15. Peace proposals of Pope Benedict revealed (dated August 1) ; 
United States replies, August 27; Germany and Austria, September 
21; supplementary German reply, September 26. 

August 20-24. French at Verdun recaptured high ground lost in 1916. 

September 8. Luxburg dispatches ("spurlos versenkt") revealed. 

October 24-December. Great German-Austrian counterdrive into Italy; 
Italian line shifted to Piave River, Asiago Plateau, and Brenta River. 

October 26. Brazil declared war on Germany. 

October 27. Second Liberty Loan closed ($3,000,000,000 offered; $4,617,- 
532,300 subscribed). 

November 7. Overthrow of Kerensky and Provisional Government of 
Russia by the Bolsheviki. 

November 13. Clemenceau succeeds Ribot as French Premier. 

November 18. British forces in Palestine take Jaffa. 

November 22-December 13. Battle of Cambrai; successful surprise attack 
near Cambrai by British under General Byng on November 22 (em- 
ploys "tanks" to break down wire entanglements in place of the usual 
artillery preparations) ; Bourlon Wood, dominating Cambrai, taken 
November 26 ; surprise counterattack by Germans, December 2, compels 
British to give up fourth of ground gained. 

November 29. First plenary session of the Inter- Allied Conference in Paris; 
sixteen nations represented; Colonel E. M. House, Chairman of Ameri- 
can delegation. 

December 5. President Wilson, in message to Congress, advised war with 


December 6. United States destroyer Jacob Jones sunk by submarine. 

December 6-9. Armed revolt overthrew Administration in Portugal. 

December 7. United States declared war on Austria-Hungary. 

December 9. Jerusalem captured by British advancing from Egypt. 

December 13. Berlin announced armistice negotiations with Russia; began 
December 16. German aerial bombs kill several United States railway 
engineers, and two engineers died from gunshot wounds. 

December 15. Inter-Allied Economic Council, Great Britain, France, and 
Italy represented, organizes in London, elects Assistant Secretary of 
United States Treasury, Oscar T. Crosby, president. Armistice agree- 
ment between Bolshevik Government and Central Powers signed at 

December 18. Sixteen to twenty large German Gothas raid London, kill 
ten, injure seventy; two of the raiders are brought down. 

December 23. General Guillaumat succeeded Sarrail as commander in chief 
of Allied forces at Saloniki. 

December 27. Turkish army defeated by British in attempt to retake 


January 5. Between Lens and St. Quentin, German raids on British lines 
were repulsed with heavy enemy losses. 

January 7. In mutiny at Kiel, German naval base, submarine crews killed 
thirty-eight of their officers. 

January 14. Attempt was made to shoot Russian Premier Lenine. 

January 28. In Italian offensive east of Asiago Plateau, Italian forces cap- 
tured Col del Rosso and Col d'Echele, and 1,500 prisoners. Rumanians 
captured Kishineff, capital of Bessarabia. Allied aviators attacked Zee- 
brugge. German airplanes raided London, killed 47, injured 169. Ger- 
mans made air raid on Paris, killed 36, injured 190. 

January 31. It was for the first time announced that the United States 
troops were occupying first-line trenches. Germans raided American 
line, killed two, wounded four, one missing. 

February 1. Major General Peyton C.March made Chief of General Staff. 
Italians edvanoed to head of Melago Valley. Rumanians occupied 
Kishineff. Bolsheviki seized Rumanian ships in Black Sea; captured 
Odessa and Orenburg. 

February 5. United States transport Tuscania torpedoed off Irish coast; 
loss, 101. 

February 21. British troops occupied Jericho, fourteen miles from Jeru- 

February 22. United States troops were in the Chemin-des-Dames sector, 
the Aisne, France. 

February 27. Japan proposed joint military operation with Allies in 
Siberia to save military and other supplies. 

March 1. Generals Kaledine and Korniloff defeated by Bolsheviki near 

March 2. Kieff, held by Bolsheviki since February 8, was occupied by 
German and Ukrainian troops. 

March 3. By treaty of peace with four Central Powers signed at Brest- 
Litovsk, Bolsheviki agreed to evacuate Ukrainia, Esthonia, and Livonia, 
Finland, the Aland Islands, and Transcaucasian districts of Erivan, 
Kars, and Batum. 

CHRONOLOGY, 1918 477 

March 4. Germany and Finland signed treaty. 

March 8. In the Ypres-Dixmude sector Germans attacked on mile front; 
English counterattacked. Leon Trotzky resigned as Russian Foreign 

March 9. Russian capital moved from Petrograd to Moscow. 

March 10. British occupied Hit, in Mesopotamia. 

March 12. In Toul sector United States artillery discovered and blew to 
pieces German gas projectors, upsetting plans for gas attack. 

March 13. German troops entered Odessa and gained control of Black Sea, 
with fifteen Russian warships. 

March 18. Great Britain and United States took over Dutch shipping in 
United States and British ports. 

March 21. Beginning of "Big Drive" on 60-mile front, from Arras to La 
Fere. On Luneville sector United States artillery fire destroyed first- 
and second-line positions. Canadians made gas attack between Lens 
and Hill 70. British monitors bombard Ostend. German long-range 
gun bombarded Paris. 

March 26. Battle continued on whole front south of Somme. 

March 27. General Pershing offered all United States forces for service 
wherever needed. 

March 28. Heavy fighting along 55-mile front, from the southeast of Somme 
to northeast of Arras. Entire Turkish force in area of Hit, in Mesopo- 
tamia, was captured or destroyed; 3,000 prisoners taken (including 
German officers), 10 guns, 2,000 rifles, many machine guns, 600 animals. 
British forces crossed the River Jordan. 

March 29. The French General, Ferdinand Foch, chosen commander in 
chief of all Allied forces in France (British, French, American, Italian, 
Belgian, and Portuguese). The German long-range gun killed seventy- 
five worshipers at Good Friday services in a Paris church, and wounded 

April 1. Long-distance bombardment of Paris continued; four were killed, 
nine injured. 

April 3. War Council at Washington, D. C, announced that all available 
shipping would be used to rush troops to France. 

April 5. United States army at end of the first year of the war totaled 
more than 1,500,000 men. 

April 7. United States troops in Toul sector repelled two German raids. 
Turks took Ardahan from Armenians; Constantinople reported Turkish 
troops advancing over wide area in the Caucasus. 

April 10. British and Portuguese, on line from La Bassee Canal to Armen- 
ti^res, were forced back six miles; at Messines Ridge, south of Ypres, 
British retired two miles. In a counterattack on Givenchy, British took 
750 prisoners. 

April 12. Field Marshal Haig issued a special order of the day: "All posi- 
tions must be held to the last man." 

April 13. Germans captured Rossignol, advanced to border of Nieppe 
Wood; took 400 prisoners. French held Hangard against repeated 
counterattacks and repulsed German raids between the Ailette and the 
Aisne. The British and French Governments agreed to confer on Gen- 
eral Foch title of Commander in Chief of Allied armies in France. 

April 15. Count Czernin, Austro-Hungarian Minister, resigned. 

April 22. Baron von Richthofen, the leader of the German flyers, with 
eighty victories, was brought down behind the British lines. 


April 24. Germans attacked the whole front south of the Somme, but were 
repulsed; in later attacks gained Villers-Bretonneux, east of Robec. 

April 25. Germans assaulted from Wytschaete to Bailleul; in Lys salient, 
French and British lost ground. Germans captured Hangard. 

April 28. The loss of Kemmel Heights forced British to retire. Locre 
changed hands five times; Germans got footing there, but were driven 
from Voormezeele. 

May 6. Treaty of peace was signed at Bucharest by representatives of 
Rumania and the four Central Powers. 

May 19. Australians captured Ville-sur-Ancre, a mile from Morlancourt; 
360 prisoners, 20 machine guns; German raids in Picardy and Lorraine 
are repelled by United States troops. 

May 21. President Wilson named Peyton C. March, Chief of Staff, with 
rank of General. 

May 25-June 14. German submarines sank nineteen ships off coasts of 
New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. 

May 27. Big drive begun on western front; Germans drove Allies across 
the Aisne-Marne Canal ; Germans attacked British at Berry-au-Bac and 
the French by the Chemin-des-Dames Ridge; near Dickebusch Lake, 
Germans penetrated French positions, advanced in Aisne Valley, reached 

May 30. Germans advanced to within two miles of Rheims. 

May 31. German forces north of the Aisne advanced to Nouvron and 
Fontenoy, but failed to cross the Marne. 

June 1. Germans attacked on whole front between the Oise and the Marne, 
advanced as far as Nouvron and Fontenoy; attack on Fort de la Pom- 
pelle drove out French, who counterattacked, regained positions, and 
took 400 prisoners and four tanks. 

June 5. Germans advanced on south bank of Aisne, took Dommiers; 
United States troops penetrated enemy positions in Picardy and Lor- 
raine; French counterattack regained ground near Vingre. 

June 6. West of Chateau-Thierry, United States troops drove Germans 
a mile on two-mile front, took 270 prisoners ; United States and French 
troops advanced in region of Neuilly-la-Poterie and Bouresches; Ger- 
man attacks at Champlat, heights of Bligny, southwest of Ste. Euphraise 
and between the Marne and Rheims, were repulsed; French took Le 
Port, west of Fontenoy and north of the Aisne, village of Vinly, and 
regained Hill 204. 

June 7. United States and French troops took villages of Neuilly-la- 
Poterie and Bouresches and Bligny, between the Marne and Rheims, 
and 200 prisoners. 

June 8. By attacks on the Marne, Franco-American troops put Germans 
on defensive; United States forces, under General Pershing, captured 
and held Bouresches. 

June 11. Allies in counteroffensive advance on seven-mile front between 
Montdidier and Noyon retook much ground; took 1,000 prisoners. 

June 16. On Italian front Allies regained all ground lost in first Austrian 
rush, except a few places on Piave River. 

June 19. 40,000 Germans attacked Rheims from three sides; repulsed. 

June 23. Italian forces drove the Austrians across the Piave River, with 
a loss of 180,000 men. 

June 25. American marines and regulars cleared Belleau Wood. 

June 29. Italian forces continued successes. 

CHRONOLOGY, 1918 479 

June 30. France recognized the Czecho-Slovaks as a separate nation. 

July 1. American forces landed at Kola, Finland. 

July 9. The French armies advanced on a wide front. 

July 12. The Austrian armies were badly beaten by the Italians at Berat. 

French troops continued advance on western front. 
July 13. The former Czar Nicholas of Russia was assassinated. 
July 15. Germans began fifth drive on a fifty-mile front. 
July 18. French and German troops began great counteroffensive. 
July 19. Germans began retreat from the Marne. 

July 21. Chateau-Thierry was occupied by French and American forces. 
July 25. Allies continued to close the pocket of the Aisne-Marne salient. 
August 3. The Allies advanced on a wide front. 
August 4. The German retreat in the Aisne region continued. 
August 7. American and French troops crossed the Vesle River in pursuit 

of the Germans. 
August 8. New French and British offensive in the Somme region. 
August 17. American troops took back several villages. 
August 23. The British continued to advance in the Somme region. 
August 25. The British advanced ten miles on a thirty-mile front, taking 

nearly 20,000 prisoners. 
August 29. The British captured Bapaume. 
August 31. The British, aided by the 27th and 30th American Divisions, 

captured Mount Kemmel. 
September 5. The Allies advanced on a ninety-mile front. 
September 7. The Germans began retreat on a 100-mile front. 
September 11. British, French, and American forces closed in on the 

Hindenburg line. 
September 13. American forces cleared the St. Mihiel salient and took 

12,000 prisoners. 
September 22. General Allenby defeated Turks in Palestine. 
September 27. The British advanced on the Cambrai front. 
September 29. British and American forces pierced the Hindenburg line. 
September 30. The Belgians captured Roulers. 
October 1. French reentered St. Quentin. 

October 2. American troops forced back Germans in Argonne Forest. 
October 5. Germans abandoned Lille. 
October 6. Prince Max, the German Chancellor, proposed a suspension 

of hostilities. 
October 7. The German retreat continued. 
October 8. President Wilson asked Germany's intentions in regard to 

October 9. The British took Cambrai. 
October 18. Many towns in Belgium recaptured by Allies. 
October 24. Allies continued to advance on all fronts. 
October 28. Hungary accepted terms offered by Allies. 
October 30. Italians advanced north of the Piave. 
November 1. American troops advanced to Grandpre. 
November 4. Austria accepts terms of truce. 
November 5. The American first army advanced on both sides of the 

November 8. General Foch received German armistice delegates. Repub- 
lic proclaimed in Bavaria. 
November 9. Socialists took over government in Berlin, 



November 10. Kaiser Wilhelm fled to Holland. 
November 11. German envoys signed armistice terms. 
November 20. French entered Buda-Pesth. German submarines surren- 
dered to British. American troops crossed the Lorraine frontier. 
November 21. The entire German fleet surrendered to Allies. 
November 22. King Albert makes triumphal entry into Brussels. 
December 1. American troops crossed the frontier of Prussia. 


January 7. The Spartacides in Berlin started a revolutionary outbreak. 

January 9. The Government troops in Berlin defeated the Spartacides. 

January 12. The Supreme War Council met in Paris. 

January 15. The Berlin Government announced the completion of a newly 
drafted constitution covering the union of fifteen states. 

January 17. Jan Ignace Paderewski was agreed upon by the Polish fac- 
tions as the first premier of Poland. 

January 18. The Peace Conference held its first session in Paris. Clemen- 
ceau was chosen president. 

January 19. General election was held in Germany. 

January 25. The Peace Conference adopted a resolution creating a League 
of Nations. 

February 6. The German National Assembly convened at Weimar. 
Friedrich Ebert was elected president. 

February 14. President Wilson read before the Peace Conference the sum- 
mary of the Covenant of the League of Nations. 

February 21. Kurt Eisner, Socialist Premier of Bavaria, was assassinated. 

March 13. The German Government executed over 200 Spartacides in